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The Times report on conditions for Amazon staff
Member Name: chezza99
Date: 19/12/08, updated on 19/12/08 (379 review reads)
Advantages: Great prices, fantastic service
Disadvantages: Ruthless exploitation of workers
Until last weekend, I was a huge Amazon fan. Great prices, informative customer reviews, faultless delivery .... How do they do it? I sometimes wondered.
This is how:
From The Times, 14 Dec 2008. Page link (remove spaces): http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ tol/business/industry_sectors/ retailing/article5337770.ece
After your comments, I'll make this shorter:
The staff work seven days a week and are threatened with the sack if they take a day off sick - even with a doctor's note. There is a 6-point penalty system: compulsory dismissal with 6 points. Each day off sick counts for 1 point.
They have to do a compulsory 10½hour overnight shift at the end of a five-day week. The shift runs from Saturday evening to 5am on Sunday, meaning they work every day of the week.
Packing targets are so high (more than 2 items a minute) that even a manager described them as ridiculous. Shelf-pickers walk 14 miles on their shift.
Workers get only one break of 15 minutes and another of 20 minutes per eight-hour shift and have to get permission to go to the toilet.
The pay is £6.80 an hour, but the bus to work costs £8.50 a day.
Obviously Amazon has defended its management practices and many have pointed out that, with a recession on, people should be grateful for any job.
Last year, Amazon's worldwide profits were above £2,200,000,000.
I think they could have knocked a few grand off that to pay for more staff, allowing them to treat their workers like human beings not cut-price robots.
I used to be a big Amazon fan but, now I know how they treat their staff, I won't be adding any more of my money to their huge profits.
Summary: Amazon profits at the expense of humane working conditions
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