There’s no doubt Amazon is the ultimate online retail giant, with millions upon millions of visitors per month and that doesn’t look as though it will change anytime soon. However, the reality behind the scenes of the online retailer is far different, when it comes to its employees happiness regarding their treatment by the tech giant.
Amazon warehouse workers worldwide are protesting to demand better working conditions at the beginning of the company’s Prime Day sales promotion.
Launched in 2015, Prime Day is a special promotional day for Amazon subscribers, offering a variety of discounts, sales deals and same-day shipping.
The event is only for a limited time, as it only runs for two days. But while that may sound terrific for Amazon subscribers, workers for the company are feeling far from the same.
Employees complain that shipping more goods in less time is pushing them beyond their physical abilities. Workers at the fulfilment centre in Shakopee, Minnesota also walked out on strike and will remain there until the end of the sale period.
Joining them are workers in the UK, Poland, Spain and seven warehouses across Germany, protesting against the less than fair treatment by Amazon in basically turning them into symbolical robots.
Stuart Applelaum, president of Switzerland-based UNI Global Union, agreed with the unreasonable conditions and expectations of Amazon workers during Prime Day.
“Amazon needs to understand that human beings are not robots.” he said. “By doubling Prime Day’s duration and halving the delivery time, the company is testing hundreds of thousands of workers’ physical limits as though they were trained triathletes. This is plain wrong.”
“Operating at these speeds for this duration means Amazon needs to hire more workers, under more sustainable speeds that don’t put workers’ lives in jeopardy. Instead, we are seeing a callous indifference to worker safety.”
Prime is known to be a main factor in Amazon’s revenue, although the company doesn’t report the significance on its contributions.
However, according to the Financial Times, Prime has “played a significant role in the growth of Amazon’s marketplace”. It was also reported that the subscriber base’s approximate worth was at nearly $190 billion (£151 billion) since its launch.
Amazon sellers also told the newspaper that they felt compelled to give Amazon a cut of their sales in exchange for a blue “Prime” label and a higher ranking in the search results.
An Amazon spokesperson stated: “Today, our well-paid, dedicated and highly-respected teams, are doing what they do every day – delivering for their customers in an environment that’s fun, engaging and set-up to help them succeed.”
“With industry-leading pay, comprehensive benefits and outstanding career opportunities, Amazon is the employer of choice for thousands of people across the UK.”
But, will the strike prompt Amazon to possibly scrap Prime Day altogether in the near future, or at least offer a more reasonable promotion for the sake of worker safety during the 2 day sale?
That’ll all depend on the outcome of this strike, we suppose, but this wouldn’t be the first time that thousands of employees march against their less than fair treatment by their fat cat employer, which in this instance, is Mister Jeff Bezos.
Story by Emily Clark
Featured Photo Credit: WarriorTrading