Amazon’s Clashes With Labor: Days of Conflict and Control


In current weeks, a heated dialogue about whether or not Amazon’s staff should urinate in bottles as a result of they don’t have any time to go to the lavatory — a stage of management that few trendy firms would dare train — has raged on Twitter.

“Amazon is reorganizing the very nature of retail work — something that traditionally is physically undemanding and has a large amount of downtime — into something more akin to a factory, which never lets up,” stated Spencer Cox, a former Amazon employee who’s writing his Ph.D. thesis on the University of Minnesota about how the corporate is reworking labor. “For Amazon, this isn’t about money. This is about control of workers’ bodies and every possible moment of their time.”

Amazon didn’t have a remark for this story.

Signs that Amazon is going through extra pushback towards its management have began to pile up. In February, Lovenia Scott, a former warehouse employee for the corporate in Vacaville, Calif., accused Amazon in a lawsuit of having such an “immense volume of work to be completed” that she and her colleagues didn’t get any breaks. Ms. Scott is in search of class-action standing. Amazon didn’t reply to a request for touch upon the go well with.

Last month, the California Labor Commissioner stated 718 supply drivers who labored for Green Messengers, a Southern California contractor for Amazon, have been owed $5 million in wages that by no means made it to their wallets. The drivers have been paid for 10-hour days, the labor commissioner said, however the quantity of packages was so nice that they usually needed to work 11 or extra hours and by breaks.

Amazon stated it now not labored with Green Messengers and would enchantment the choice. Green Messengers couldn’t be reached for remark.

An Amazon warehouse within the Canadian province of Ontario confirmed speedy unfold of Covid-19 in March. “Our investigation determined a closure was required to break the chain of transmission,” stated Dr. Lawrence Loh, the regional medical officer. “We provided our recommendation to Amazon.” The firm, he stated, “did not answer.” The well being officers ordered the employees to self-isolate, successfully shutting the ability for 2 weeks. Amazon didn’t reply to a request for touch upon the scenario.

And 5 U.S. senators wrote a letter to the corporate final month demanding extra details about why it was equipping its supply vans with surveillance cameras that consistently monitor the motive force. The expertise, the senators wrote, “raises important privacy and worker oversight questions Amazon must answer.”



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