Sunday, July 8, 2018

"Amazon warehouse workers need a union — a heavy lift in America" (AMZN)

Although if pressed I'd probably tend to agree with Franklin Roosevelt on unions in the public sector:
"All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service..."—Source
I have no problem, at all, with them in the private sector. Have at it.

Here's the Seattle Times on unionizing Amazon:
Organized labor gave all American workers benefits they now take for granted. But conservative political control and automation are big enemies of any union for beleaguered Amazon fulfillment center employees.

“Six minutes tops” for a bathroom break at an Amazon warehouse is hardly the “dark satanic mills” described in William Blake’s immortal description of the early Industrial Revolution.

Still, one would hope humanity had made more progress over the past 200 years, so that nature’s call wouldn’t present such anxiety to any employee in an advanced nation.

Yet this was among the many indignities and pressures on workers at so-called fulfillment centers, described by my colleague Nina Shapiro in a recent article.

James Bloodworth, a British journalist, chronicled his experience working at several companies in the book, “Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain.” Amazon employees, he wrote, are given “impossibly high” productivity targets, measured by constant electronic surveillance. The closest restroom was four flights of stairs away.

The same could apply in the United States. The “six minutes tops” comment came from an employee at Amazon’s Kent warehouse, which employs 2,500.

Bloodworth wrote that in his short stint working at an Amazon warehouse, “You were not seen as a human being. You were seen as a robot.”

Above the entrance of the fulfillment center was painted the slogan, “Work hard. Have fun. Make history”
At least one of the statements is true.

To be fair, Amazon says it doesn’t monitor toilet breaks and the facilities are “just a short walk” from where employees work....MORE