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Is Amazon Bad for Workers?

See what has been reported about Amazon in other communities, and judge for yourself.

Amazon’s Great Labor Awakening

Covid-19 has cemented the e-commerce giant’s hold on the economy — but it has also spurred employees all around the country to organize.

Amazon is using AI-equipped cameras in delivery vans and some drivers are concerned about privacy

Amazon drivers at some U.S. facilities will soon have an extra set of eyes watching them when they hit the road to make their daily deliveries. The company recently began testing AI-equipped cameras in vehicles to monitor contracted delivery drivers while they’re on the job, with the aim of improving safety.

Amazon intensifies 'severe' effort to discourage first-ever US warehouse union

A push to unionize workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama is running into tough opposition as the retail giant, whose profits have boomed during the coronavirus pandemic despite concerns over worker safety, has launched an aggressive anti-union drive. If workers at the BHM1 warehouse in Bessemer, near Birmingham, succeed in their efforts they would form the first union at an Amazon warehouse in the US.

Court filings show how Amazon Web Services is using Section 230 as a legal sword against Parler

The social media platform Parler marketed itself as a place where Americans could “speak freely” and avoid the fear of being “deplatformed.” Its investors included conservative donor Rebekah Mercer, who described Parler as “a beacon to all who value their liberty.” But Parler was never any sort of wholly independent island of absolutely free speech. Before Parler’s August 2018 launch, according to court documents, its leaders signed the nascent site up for Amazon’s cloud-based web hosting services.

It takes eight weeks for an Amazon warehouse worker to earn what Jeff Bezos makes in a second, says union

A union has claimed that it takes an Amazon warehouse worker over eight weeks, or 293 hours, to earn what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a single second, a union has said. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) analysed the earnings of the world’s wealthiest man and found that the amount of time it takes for an Amazon warehouse worker to earn what Mr Bezos earns in a second increased from more than five weeks last year to eight weeks this year.

Amazon to face first U.S. unionization vote in seven years next month

Amazon will face its first union vote on U.S. soil in seven years on Feb. 8, when ballots will be mailed to warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, for an election that could emerge as a major labor battle at one of the country's largest employers. A National Labor Relations Board hearing officer ruled Friday that roughly 6,000 workers at the facility will have seven weeks to cast their ballots to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The decision granted the union's request to hold the balloting entirely by mail, over the objections of Amazon, which wanted in-person voting.

6,000 Amazon warehouse workers will hold union vote in Alabama on Feb. 8

Amazon warehouse workers at an Alabama warehouse can begin voting by mail in early February on whether to form a union, a National Labor Relations Board hearing officer ruled Friday. The ruling kicks off what will be a closely watched union vote at one of the nation’s largest employers. Unions have a stronger foothold among some of Amazon’s European workforce, but the company has largely manage to thwart organizing efforts in the U.S.

From being targeted for robbery to confrontational customers, 4 Amazon delivery drivers talk about what scares them during peak season

Dog bites, twisted ankles, and dealing with irritable customers are all just part of the job as an Amazon delivery driver. Many employees deliver in rural areas and have to navigate twisty, gravel, or dirt roads. Others deliver multiple 50-pound packages to the same five-story walk-up apartment building every day.

It takes eight weeks for an Amazon warehouse worker to earn what Jeff Bezos makes in a second, says union

A union has claimed that it takes an Amazon warehouse worker over eight weeks, or 293 hours, to earn what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a single second, a union has said. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) analysed the earnings of the world’s wealthiest man and found that the amount of time it takes for an Amazon warehouse worker to earn what Mr Bezos earns in a second increased from more than five weeks last year to eight weeks this year.

Federal Labor Agency Investigation Finds Amazon Illegally Fired Protesting Warehouse Worker

A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) investigation has found merit to a complaint that alleged Amazon illegally retaliated against a warehouse worker in New York City for his role in organizing Amazon employees in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a spokesperson for the NLRB has confirmed.

US investigation finds Amazon illegally fired warehouse worker

A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) investigation has found merit to a complaint that said Amazon illegally discharged a protesting warehouse worker in New York City, according to an NLRB spokesperson. Gerald Bryson, an Amazon associate, was helping to lead a protest outside a company warehouse in Staten Island, New York on 6 April while off the job, when he got into a dispute with another worker, according to Bryson’s attorney Frank Kearl.

Amazon Has Turned a Middle-Class Warehouse Career Into a McJob Inc. job ads are everywhere. Plastered on city buses, displayed on career web sites, slotted between songs on classic rock stations. They promise a quick start, $15 an hour and health insurance. In recent weeks, America’s second-largest employer has rolled out videos featuring happy package handlers wearing masks, a pandemic-era twist on its annual holiday season hiring spree.

California subpoenas Amazon over worker safety in pandemic

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday asked a judge to order Amazon to comply with subpoenas his office issued nearly four months ago as part of an investigation into how the company protects workers from the coronavirus. Becerra said the online sales giant hasn't provided enough information on its safety steps and the status of infections and deaths at its shipping facilities across California.

Amazon robots speed customer orders but may lead to fewer workers

TRACY, Calif. — This holiday season, Amazon’s little helper is an orange, 320-pound robot called Kiva. The robots — more than 15,000 of them companywide — are part of Amazon’s high-tech strategy to get orders to customers faster. By lifting shelves of Amazon products off the ground and automatically delivering them to employee stations, the robots cut the time it takes for warehouse workers to walk around looking for items.

Inside Amazon's Warehouse

This story was originally published Sept. 18, 2011. You can read more of our series on's Lehigh Valley warehouse at Elmer Goris spent a year working in's Lehigh Valley warehouse, where books, CDs and various other products are packed and shipped to customers who order from the world's largest online retailer.

How Amazon Became Santa’s Sweatshop

The Supreme Court just handed a big holiday present to low-wage workers across America in the form of a giant f*ck you. It’s a reminder that while on some cases the court—like politics in general—may seem divided by red and blue, when it comes to decisions that affect big business in America, it’s all about the green. Forget the bullpucky about the “War on Christmas.” There’s a real “War on the Working Class” under way, and the Supreme Court just made it worse. So much for happy holidays.

Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace

SEATTLE — On Monday mornings, fresh recruits line up for an orientation intended to catapult them into Amazon’s singular way of working. They are told to forget the “poor habits” they learned at previous jobs, one employee recalled. When they “hit the wall” from the unrelenting pace, there is only one solution: “Climb the wall,” others reported. To be the best Amazonians they can be, they should be guided by the leadership principles, 14 rules inscribed on handy laminated cards. When quizzed days later, those with perfect scores earn a virtual award proclaiming, “I’m Peculiar” — the company’s proud phrase for overturning workplace conventions.

What The NY Times Didn't Tell You In Its Amazon Workplace Expose can be a tough place to work. In this 2012 Forbes cover story, I alluded to the online retailer's stressful, low-perks culture, driven by founder Jeff Bezos's nonstop ambitions. Now The New York Times has published a 5,700-word expose, chronicling endless cases of workers pushed to the breaking point as Amazon redefines the modern office to be "more nimble and more productive, but harsher and less forgiving."

Timed toilet breaks, impossible targets and workers falling asleep on feet: Brutal life working in Amazon warehouse

Alone in a locked metal cage, 10 feet from my nearest colleague, a robot approaches from the shadows and thrusts a tower of shelves towards me. I have nine seconds to grab and process an item to be sent for packing – a target of 300 items an hour, for hour after relentless hour. As I bend to the floor then reach high above my head to fulfil a never-ending stream of orders, my body screams at me.

Examining Amazon's treatment of its workers

Amazon is the second largest private employer in the country, headed by the richest man on Earth. As the coronavirus pandemic has upended American life as we know it, many of us at home have relied on Amazon as a lifeline. Its workers have been called heroes. Amazon worker: At least 600 Amazon employees stricken by coronavirus. More 60 Minutes coronavirus coverage. But the company has come under fire for the way it treats those workers on the frontlines of delivery.

I Worked at an Amazon Fulfillment Center; They Treat Workers Like Robots

A group of workers with their fists raised in solidarity hold a scrawled sign: “We are humans not robots!” They and others at an Amazon warehouse in Minnesota protested in March and on July’s Amazon Prime Days. They were speaking against the day-to-day dehumanizing reality of their workplace. If your only interaction with Amazon is packages arriving on your doorstep, it can be hard to understand what workers are unhappy about, or why one described his fulfillment center as an “existential sh-thole,” or why so many others shared stories about crying at work.

‘I'm not a robot’: Amazon workers condemn unsafe, grueling conditions at warehouse

Rina Cummings has worked three 12-hour shifts every week at Amazon’s gargantuan New York City warehouse, called JFK8, on Staten Island since it first began operations in late 2018. As a sorter on the outbound ship dock, her job is to inspect and scan a mandated rate of 1,800 Amazon packages an hour – 30 per minute – that are sent through a chute and transported on a conveyor belt before leaving the facility for delivery. If your only interaction with Amazon is packages arriving on your doorstep, it can be hard to understand what workers are unhappy about, or why one described his fulfillment center as an “existential sh-thole,” or why so many others shared stories about crying at work.

Inside the hellish workday of an Amazon warehouse employee

It took just three days of working full time at an Amazon “fulfillment center” outside of Louisville, Kentucky, for Emily Guendelsberger’s body to break down. She’d been warned by her supervisors that it would be physically demanding. She’d be on her feet for 12-hour shifts, walking a total of 15 to 20 miles through a 25-acre warehouse — as long as seven New York blocks — looking for merchandise to fulfill online orders. One Amazon training video included a testimonial from an employee who claimed she’d lost 20 pounds from all the walking, “posing it as a benefit,” says Guendelsberger.

How Amazon is fighting back against workers’ increasing efforts to unionize

Throughout Amazon’s 25-year history, there have been multiple rumblings of workers trying to unionize, but to no success. With record-breaking sales numbers and newly doubled shipping speeds, however, momentum to organize has picked up among some of Amazon’s more than 650,000 worldwide employees. Three big unions are among those talking to Amazon workers — the Teamsters, the United Food & Commercial Workers Union and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Recent worker protests point to organizing efforts.

Amazon is cracking down on protesters and organizing, workers say

Amazon’s revenues topped $33m an hour in the first three months of the year as the coronavirus pandemic locked down large parts of the world. The sales boost has handed Amazon the biggest dilemma of its 25-year life: how to deal with a growing chorus of critics within the company. So far its reaction has only made matters worse. Last week an Amazon vice-president, Tim Bray, resigned in protest at what he called the company’s “chickenshit” decision to fire colleagues in the company’s warehouse division who had highlighted safety issues. “Remaining an Amazon VP would have meant, in effect, signing off on actions I despised,” wrote Bray.

Amazon Warehouse Worker Alleges Retaliation for Safety Activism

An Inc. warehouse worker in Shakopee, Minnesota, has accused the company of retaliating against her for protesting what she says are unsafe working conditions during the pandemic. In a letter to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, Hibaq Mohamed said managers were demanding that she account for time away from her workstation -- including increments of less than three minutes. Mohamed said she is being singled out for her activism and that she is now one warning away from termination.

‘This is crazy:’ Rage boils over at Amazon sites over coronavirus risks

Amazon faces a rash of strikes and protests at sites across Europe as warehouse workers lash out over what they say are gruelling labor conditions, minimal protection and the risk of infection after several employees tested positive for coronavirus. The outrage in Italy, Spain and France — among the countries worst-hit by the virus — is testing the e-commerce giant's ability to keep operating its labor-intensive warehouses amid surging demand and radical containment measures.

Amazon VP Resigns, Calls Company ‘Chickenshit’ for Firing Protesting Workers

Tim Bray, a well known senior engineer and Vice President at Amazon has “quit in dismay” because Amazon has been “firing whistleblowers who were making noise about warehouse employees frightened of Covid-19.” In an open letter on his website, Bray, who has worked at the company for nearly six years, called the company “chickenshit” for firing and disparaging employees who have organized protests. He also said the firings are "designed to create a climate of fear."

Coronavirus hits 50 Amazon warehouses

The number of Amazon warehouses impacted by the novel coronavirus in the U.S. is increasing by the day as workers rush to package and deliver products as quickly as possible. Between March 19 and April 10, employees at more than of the company's 519 U.S. warehouse and distribution facilities have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Amazon and local media reports.

Private spies reportedly infiltrated an Amazon strike, secretly taking photos of workers, trade unionists, and journalists. Now a union is taking legal action.

Amazon could face a court battle with a Spanish workers' union over a report that said private investigators were hired to infiltrate and secretly surveil a strike outside one of its warehouses.

Amazon workers are fighting for their rights. This holiday season, think of them

In the early hours of 27 November – as shoppers around the world woke up to a frenzy of Black Friday bargains – workers at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Poznań, Poland, went on strike.

Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama file for union recognition

North Andover is one step closer to getting its Amazon logistics facility. Over 100 acres of the Osgood Landing site transferred to the Texas-based developer that will construct the planned warehouse, its property manager said. Ozzy Properties and Hillwood Development closed the sale Wednesday morning.

#MakeAmazonPay: Activists Rally Against Marketplace

#MakeAmazonPay is an online campaign recently launched by international climate activists and several Amazon workers in response to its failure to provide a safe space for its employees and tackle its problem on greenhouse gas emissions.

Amazon should do better by its workers

The first time I heard, in mid-September, that Jeff Bezos’ wealth increased $70 billion since the start of the pandemic, I was just finishing an eleven-hour shift. “Maybe they could afford to give us face masks that reach our ears and don’t fall apart the moment they’re unwrapped,” I thought.

Thousands of Amazon workers will walk off the job today to fight for fair pay and COVID protections

Unions representing tens of thousands of Inc. employees are planning walkouts and other action as the year’s busiest shopping season begins this week, in protest at the e-commerce giant’s handling of everything from sick pay and COVID-19 precautions to user privacy.

On eve of Black Friday, Amnesty pushes Amazon on workers’ rights

Amazon should not risk the health and safety of its employees to meet Black Friday shopping demands, Amnesty International warned on Thursday, accusing the online retail giant of clamping down on employees’ right to demand better working conditions. In a report (PDF) called “Amazon, Let Workers Unionize!”, the human rights group said Amazon has undermined workers’ attempts to unionise and bargain collectively.

Amazon workers and activism groups are staging Black Friday protests around the world, while the company tries to placate workers with $300 holiday bonuses

As Amazon gears up for one of its biggest shopping days of the year, thousands of people around the world are protesting its facilities. A coalition of unions, human-rights organizations, and environmentalist groups on Friday launched a global protest of the e-commerce giant called "Make Amazon Pay."

This holiday season, give essential workers the unions they deserve

This was already a devastating year for hard-working Americans, struggling to keep their jobs amid a pandemic made worse by corporate greed. Now, with the holiday season underway, “essential workers” employed in warehouses, delivering goods, and stocking grocery shelves find themselves in an even bigger crunch.

This Black Friday, a global coalition is holding Amazon to account

Black Friday is here once again, and bargains abound. With widespread lockdowns preventing crowds at brick-and-mortar stores, online sales are expected to soar. One merchant, in particular, stands to profit greatly: Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, at the helm of one of the world’s most powerful companies.

Amazon Workers Are Organizing a Global Struggle

IN RECENT WEEKS, dizzying statistics have circulated on social media about Amazon’s pandemic-era boom and the obscene wealth accrued by its CEO, and Earth’s richest man, Jeff Bezos. The company reported revenue of $96.1 billion just last quarter, which, according to the Institute for Policy Studies, means Bezos could personally pay Amazon’s 876,000 workers a bonus of $105,000 each — and would still be as filthy rich as he was prior to the pandemic.