Amazon warehouse workers go on strike

Wayfair XRKs6g
Jul 15 35 Comments

Amazon fulfillment centers don't have a good reputation in terms of employee treatment and benefits. And many consumers don't understand that those 1-day Amazon shipments take a toll on warehouse employees. There's a lot of work involved in getting packages to customer doors. If more people can understand this, maybe there could be some change to what type of benefits these workers can be given. I just don't know if a strike is the most effective method to achieve this.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/15/amazon-workers-prime-day-strike-begins-in-minnesota.html

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TOP 35 Comments
  • Wayfair / Eng
    lLmi30

    Wayfair Eng

    PRE
    Wayfair, Cognizant, Tech Mahindra
    BIO
    software engineer
    lLmi30more
    When all the drama is over and people go back to living their usual lives, all the SJWism will be forgotten in the face of convenience that Amazon provides us with. People will go back to complaining where their orders are. Amazon is and will be one the best companies ever created.

    It's like the country USA. You can vilify it, call it names but the truth is it will always be one of the most innovative countries in the world and the next biggest achievements in technology will most likely come from here.

    In the land of the free and home of the brave there are ups and downs.
    Jul 15 8
    • Wayfair bnKI45
      Exploiting workers is not innovation though. It certainly has been good business for Amazon but there's always the possibility the workers will organize
      Jul 16
    • Amazon / Eng Yolo!
      By 2024, 100k of fulfillment workers will be gone. I’m not claiming this by knowledge, guessing this by the announcement Amazon made to retrain 100k employees to do higher level work by then. I suppose Robotics is going to take over many of the tasks.
      Jul 16
    • Apple anon019283
      Veritas. You do realize that child labor was on the down turn well before the first child labor law right?

      Iendjs. Actually you can thank a rich guy for the 40 hr work week. Which was before unions were really a force even.

      But that goes against the conventional thought so I understand why you don’t know that.
      Jul 16
    • Wayfair bnKI45
      Apple I know you want to believe that kind of thing but it's simply not true. There is a long history of workers organizing to get better conditions.
      Jul 16
    • The 40 hour work week came from building trades and other industry workers marching in the late 1800's. Ford backed the idea in 1914 because it's productivity was apparent. Unions ultimately fortified the idea around 1937 when GM employees striked for bathroom breaks, sick pay and safety standards.

      Also - how about instead of massive layoffs, Jeff Bezos has one less billion dollars 🙄 and spreads the wealth.
      Jul 17
  • Facebook public2
    Their sign says "we are humans, not robots." Jeff B: "I know I know, I am working on it"
    Jul 15 1
    • Amazon 🌲$°
      This one says Alibaba, but same thing, for automated warehouses. The robots pick up more of the work over time, coordinating among themselves more efficiently.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FBl4Y55V2Z4

      🤔The system looks like they just pained them over blue and slapped a different company logo on it. I guess patent enforcement is up to the country?
      Jul 16
  • Amazon Handsolo
    Anyone here work in an FC and can provide more information? All businesses are run by people and its generally the shitty management that causes problems. If FC work quality was so terrible, I would expect global strikes. lf there are strikes at a few facilities, could it just be poor leadership/management?
    Jul 16 6
    • Amazon epcK02
      Thanks for the perspective, Fetch! It sounds enjoyable, actually. I worked a lot of retail jobs in my past and loved it - this wounds comparable but with better hours and pay.
      Jul 16
    • Amazon / Design !!hotdog
      I’m guessing Fetch’s story is the typical one, and typical stories don’t make the news.
      Jul 16
    • Nordstrom Nepotism
      Ask people who have worked other warehouse jobs and compare them to those are Amazon. It'll almost universally better at Amazon, the hardest part is productivity is measured so much that you can't slack off half the day like a lot of people are used to.
      Jul 16
    • Amazon / Design !!hotdog
      If you work at Amazon or Facebook, two of the more high-standards-that-we-hold-people-to companies around, it’s easy to lose sight of how fucking lazy most people are.

      Years ago I worked in a factory, and worked retail, temp office jobs, etc. People are incredibly lazy.
      Jul 16
    • Amazon / Other
      / -

      Amazon Other

      PRE
      Amazon
      BIO
      Why the fuck do you think I would put any personal information in an anonymous chat app? You seem really confused, @blind
      / -more
      Fetch - things vary by location and department. My experience was nothing like yours. I couldn't stand around talking because I was part of the "fulfillment engine" that leads to packing and if I slacked off then the sorter and packer would fall behind. I couldn't take bathroom brakes becuase then the sorter and packet wouldn't receive any stuff to ship. I was 500 meters from the break room so it took about 5 minutes each way on my 15 minute break to get there (we weren't allowed to take a break at our stations because sitting down was a "safety violation", and we weren't allowed to have food on the floor anyway). The only way I could take a break was to flip the andon alarm and wait for a PG or PA to come cover me, and with 24 of us and 2 of them it was pretty unlikely that they'd arrive in any kind of convenient time.
      The rate for induction was barely attainable in ideal conditions for even the best rate leaders; you could win an award for moving 1000 units per hour even though the target rate was 1300. If you think about it from the Amazon management perspective, this is an advantageous setup for them becuase by setting an unattainable rate they can keep telling you to move faster and can get rid of you for failing to perform at an acceptable rate if they don't like you (for instance if you try to organize others in a protest or aren't in the management clique)
      Oh, and if you were part of their inner circle becuase you kissed their asses or hung out with them outside of work, you'd get the good stations which were only about 50 meters from the breakroom.
      So much bullshit going on in there, and there are some employees who swear that Amazon can do no wrong and the management are all of unimpeachable character and I guess they've just resigned themselves to a lifetime of warehouse work.
      My back and knees are still fucked up after only a year there. I was in the army for 6 years, and the fulfillment center memories are way more nightmarish than what I experienced in training or on Iraq deployments I managed to internally transfer after going to a web Dev bootcamp and I'll never work in one of those shitholes again. Fuck Amazon.
      Jul 18
  • Overstock.com uDuA52
    If it is tough, why they chose the job in the first place. There are plenty of jobs outside. I thought most of the heavy lifting job is done by robots. Is it not true? Supply vs Demand problem. More employees wants to work at Amazon, I guess.
    Jul 16 4
    • Amazon Fetch
      Yes, most of the heavy lifting is done with equipment (not really robots). Any item more than 49 pounds requires 2 people to lift it. I don’t remember the cut off anymore, but at some weight only mechanical lifting equipment is used.
      Jul 16
    • Amazon lumpie
      Their complaints seem to be that the work is boring and that their productivity is tracked.

      Well, no shit. Any warehouse work is mindnumbing, and judging someone based off their performance is...every job ever?
      Jul 16
    • Apple anon019283
      I know a logistics manager at a large facility for Amazon. It’s actually quite astonishing everything they track. The fact they track exactly how long it takes for an order to be placed to the time it’s on the truck and every metric in between. Damn is all I can say.

      I can understand why the employees don’t like it but they are free to get new jobs too. What they should worry about is getting what they are demanding. If that happens they won’t have a job anymore as the robots fully take over. They have that job now because of human labor being more cost effective than robots. Nothing more.
      Jul 16
    • Actually several warehouses in the PNW have moved overseas or closed down, so no, a lot of people did not "choose" to work at Amazon, they chose to not be unemployed.
      Jul 17
  • Alibaba Group / HR
    gdruje

    Alibaba Group HR

    BIO
    Why should anyone put a bio on blind? Who is your product guy?
    gdrujemore
    I don't understand, they're not unionized so I guess that they are free to go? No one forced them to stay, right? Then what is the point of the protesting?
    Jul 16 4
    • Wayfair / Ops QugA07
      The demonstrations are a prelude to unionization
      Jul 16
    • Amazon lumpie
      Whiny entitlement culture. I guess increasing pay to double the min wage wasn't enough, we can't rest until we reach the socialist promise Land of fry cooks making $75K per year
      Jul 16
    • Amazon / Design !!hotdog
      A fry cook making $75k would probably spend a lot of money on Amazon, so raising wages isn’t inherently bad...nor is it that simple of course.
      Jul 16
    • Nordstrom Nepotism
      Yes we should raise the minimum wage to $1 mil then! They'll spend lots!
      Jul 16
  • Amazon / Mgmt
    vWnY56

    Amazon Mgmt

    PRE
    US Navy
    vWnY56more
    It’s not the most effective way. In a consumer economy, the most useful way to influence a business is with your wallet or your feet. For the workers, I’m unclear at what point the notion that permanent, highly paid employment was an entitlement of every person. Some jobs are temporary. Some are low paying. With unemployment rates (all nine types) low, there are jobs to be had. It’s not convenient or ideal, but it’s an option. The injury rates, the pay parity (for unskilled labor) and the job security are what I’d expect from an industrial environment. There are worse and there are better. To Amazon’s credit, they’re attempting to balance safety and productivity with profitability. Can they do better, yes. Should they be vilified because they aren’t perfect, no. Children no longer work in industry (at least not in the US) for a variety of reasons, one of which was social pressure, but also mechanization and the elimination of the need for such a large manual labor force. Economics is a large driver of such things. Reference ATMs and self checkout kiosks that have (largely) replaced bank tellers and fast food workers/grocery clerks.
    Jul 16 1
    • Wayfair bnKI45
      Yes this is the constant battle between labor and capital. I don't know why people get so upset about others trying to get better work conditions yet they spend their time on blind trying to find out what everyone else's TC is so they can improve their own. When AI starts competing for dev jobs and wages start to drop like a ball these entitled people will be there first to whine about it and feel victimized
      Jul 16
  • Amazon wtf
    These are all omar batch. They want 5 times break a day for the prayers. They should adopt to American work culture rather than asking companies to adapt their culture. They also seems to be very concerned about climate change, may be they should work on non-profit for climate change
    Jul 16 0
  • Amazon jishebsb
    If u don’t want to work for amazon, leave , simple as that .
    Jul 16 1
    • And work at the other warehouses that have moved overseas, closed down or don't have openings?
      Jul 17
  • Amazon / Eng nutboy39
    Amazon warehouses are better than the majority of warehouses out there. Full stop. Does manual labor suck? Yes. But that’s the nature of the work, not something that Amazon is creating. As others have mentioned, Bezos is trying to automate those jobs away - I hope the same people won’t be complaining about that too.
    Jul 16 0
  • Amazon / Design !!hotdog
    Ask any executive and any manager what their biggest challenges are, and every time they’ll say, among other things, “finding great talent.”

    If you take data science, there are millions of jobs and only a hundreds of thousands of people with the skills. Other engineering work too I’m sure. The means to learn how are out there, and if you want, you can either take the warehouse job or learn how to do the job that will contribute to automating the warehouse job away. Yes, I know it’s unlikely you’ll get into FAANG or whatever but still.

    Amazon succeeds because it plays to what people always gravitate towards: cheaper, faster, more.
    Jul 16 0