Employees dare not drink water, urinate in bottles
Business Insider cited an article by author James Bloodworth, who secretly went to an Amazon warehouse in Staffordshire (UK), to find material for writing books about low wages in the European country. There, Mr. Bloodworth discovered that Amazon warehouse finishers, who ran around large warehouses to pick up products for delivery, had a “sanitization bottle” system in place because there was so little time to do so. “solve sadness” in the toilet.
“For those who work on the top floor, the nearest toilet is four flights of stairs from us (one batch has about 12 to 13 steps). So people just go to the toilet in bottles because they’re scared. was disciplined for “free time” and lost his job because he needed to go to the bathroom”, Mr. Bloodworth told The Sun.
In addition, employees also said they were fined for being sick. One employee said she was alerted when she fell ill while pregnant. Another said: “I have to go to work even though I feel so bad, I work two hours and I can’t take it anymore. I told my supervisor I have a stomach problem, I have a medical certificate but still complained”.
Amazon delivery drivers are monitored by cameras and AI algorithms
As a delivery driver in Austin, Texas, USA, James Meyers served Amazon for about a year before he quit in October 2020. For Meyers, the heavy workload and poor working conditions were the reasons why he decided to quit.
According to Meyers, delivery service providers do not allow drivers to return parcels, so drivers must work continuously for 14 hours to complete the assigned task. Under pressure to meet the required delivery rates, Meyers often uses plastic bottles to go to the bathroom every day.
Even if the truck deviates from the route or stops for more than 3 minutes, the on-board system will notify the delivery company. Meyers said he often received calls from the dispatcher complaining every time he stopped to go to the bathroom. However, talking to them only made time stand still longer. Meyers thinks these basic needs aren’t worth his unfair treatment in return.
Machines will alarm when they think employees are taking a break
In particular, Amazon uses contractors for delivery services, the driver’s bonus is often based on the successful completion rate of the order. Meyers believes that this is the reason why it is difficult for drivers to claim benefits even though they have to work too hard but receive a meager salary, from only 15 USD / hour, much lower than the average salary of drivers. other vehicles.
How does “giant” Amazon monitor employees?
Amazon became the world’s largest retailer by outsourcing computers that run problem-solving algorithms. Over the years, the company has used algorithms to manage sellers on the platform, handle counterfeit goods, and more.
Not stopping there, the company continues to use machines to control employees in warehouses, monitor contract drivers, independent delivery companies, and even monitor the performance of office workers. Owner Jeff Bezos believes that machines make decisions faster and more accurately than humans, reducing costs and giving Amazon a competitive advantage.
Photos inside the warehouse at Amazon
In 2021, Amazon will install cameras to monitor drivers inside trucks. The Netradyne company’s Driveri camera system is installed in four areas, including a forward-facing dash cam, two side cameras, and one facing the driver.
The camera pointed at the driver can detect when the subject is distracted, speeding or drowsy, and then sends the footage directly to the manager. Some drivers disagreed with this move, some even took time off work to protest against Amazon’s way of working.
The staff at the warehouse weren’t much more pleasant either. In addition to the robots that work non-stop, Amazon’s goods processing centers are also famous for their algorithms, roughly understood as a group of commands that instruct computers to solve problems.
Amazon’s algorithms reveal employees’ daily tasks, set productivity goals, and “show off” employees who don’t meet their plans. This machine accordingly is likened to an obsession for all employees at Amazon warehouses because they can be fired at any time with just one email.
Amazon’s “distance assistant” system is applied during the epidemic period
Not only that, Amazon collects information about almost everything from workers. For example, Amazon has patents for employee wristbands to track movements, which will vibrate to motivate them to work when they think they are resting. Amazon will evaluate employees against each other and eliminate the lowest performers to ensure that its workforce is continuously growing.
Because of forgetting the “human factor”, Amazon employees seem to have to work like robots.According to Business Insider, Amazon employees must work at least 60 hours a week. Life seems to cease to exist.
Against the establishment of unions
In April 2020, Insider reported that Amazon uses heat maps to track stores at risk of unionization. The heat map uses more than two dozen different metrics, focusing on three key areas of “internal risk”, “external risk” and “team member sentiment”. For example, “external risk” is measured by indicators such as local union membership size, distance between the store and the nearest union, the number of allegations filed with the National Labor Relations Board …
In 2021, workers at Amazon’s warehouse in TP.Bessemer (Alabama, USA) voted to form the first union in Amazon Corporation, according to NPR channel. However, 1,798 votes against unions and 738 votes in favor of unionization. Therefore, the “revolt” of some Amazon workers seems to have failed.
Amazon warehouse in Bessemer
The Retail, Wholesale and Stores Union (RWDSU) has appealed to the National Labor Relations Board alleging that Amazon interfered with the fair and free voting rights of warehouse workers. above. The charges include being dishonest about the impact of the vote in the required meetings.
Another allegation is that Amazon influenced the government to shorten the time to wait for a red light for delivery vehicles right outside the warehouse in December last year, not for the purpose of relieving traffic jams but to prevent organizers from talking to workers on their vehicles. Amazon countered that this is common practice during the peak holiday season.
In response, Amazon said that the allegation that the group threatened employees was “not true”. Amazon representatives said that they tried to listen and improve the relationship with employees. This outcome is an employee choice, not a company win.