Considering the fact that Jeff Bezos is world’s richest person, with a fortune estimated at being north of 100 billion dollars, it’s no wonder that the story about Amazon’s sweatshop of horrors was broke by 2 British newspapers. I mean, the left wing billionaire who owns Washington Post and boasts billion dollar contracts with the CIA is not to be touched by the mainstream media in America, and you can take it to the bank.
According to The Mirror investigation (they used an undercover reporter to infiltrate one of Amazon’s warehouses in Essex, UK), the company’s leadership already acknowledged that humans are the weakest link in their business, as in the least efficient part of the operation, and they’re now moving to replace humans with robots? Why, you may ask? Well, because robots never get tired, they can work 24 hour shifts and they never complain about anything.
On the other hand, humans working for Amazon are pressured to process a package every 30 seconds during 10 hour shifts. Many of the employees walk at least 10 miles a day and the investigation discovered workers falling asleep during their relentless shifts.
Here’s a testimony from an Amazon worker:
One silver lining as I started was that working as a picker might be good exercise. But Amazon has recognized humans are the least efficient part of the operation, so in Tilbury the robots take over.
At every turn it felt like the human staff were reduced to livestock, existing only to service the machines. In the early weeks I was depressed, until my brain switched off.
Amazon does not have to enforce a 10-hour day, it could stretch its 40-hour week over five days and add more staff. Extra staff may let it reduce personal targets to lessen the load. But it makes more money by treating its workers as expendable commodities.
The undercover investigator Alan Selby spent 5 weeks working at Amazon’s newest facility in Essex, with his final shift being on Black Friday. The job pays £8.20 an hour/up to 55 hours a week. Here’s from Alan about the daily life of an Amazon Humanoid worker:
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 fulfill a never-ending stream of orders, my body screams at me. Welcome to Amazon’s picking floor. Here, while cameras watch my every move, a screen in front of me offers constant reminders of my “units per hour” and exactly how long each has taken.
This is the online giant’s biggest European packing plant, set to be shipping 1.2 million items a year.
Amazon staff across Italy and Germany went on strike, complaining of harsh working conditions and low pay, whilst UK employees were told by the company to sleep in tents or under bridges. Why? Well, to get to work on time, that’s why. At Amazon, even the toiled breaks are timed.
So, drama aside, I missed the part where they were forced to work there.