Tim Bray, who worked as the senior engineer and also Vice president (VP) at A.W.S. (Amazon Web Services) wrote in his blog; the fact that the organization is firing whistleblowers drawing attention towards the frightful state of warehouse workers at Amazon, have dismayed him. Bray said that if he remained an Amazon Vice president, then he had to sign off on many actions he despised.
Chris Smalls, Gerald Bryson, Emily Cunningham, Maren Costa, Courtney Bowden, and Bashir Mohammed were few of the names quoted by him as he added that victims aren’t unknown entities but living people. He further said that he is sure it is nothing but a sheer coincidence that each of the stated individuals is women, a person of color or both, Right? They are going to be treated like “crap, because of CAPITALISM.”
Cunningham and Costa, these two Seattle based workers, were also part of Amazon Employees for the Climate Justice group who criticized Amazon on Twitter. This group specifically demanded an end to the contracts of the A.W.S. division of the company with Gas and Oil organizations. Bray mentioned that in the current company’s structure, warehouse employees have none-little power compared to the workers who are paid more.
He states that after the day ends, it is all about the power balance and nothing else. The workers in the warehouse are powerless and are only getting weaker. Increasing their collective strength, any credible solution to this has to start with this.
Lack of protective equipment and the way the company treats the warehouse workers have also garnered Amazon a lot of complaints and criticism. Warehouse workers also complained that the information on whether any of their co-workers have suffered from health outbreaks.
All the six tech employees were also fired who, as a protest against the company’s treatment of its workers, in April took a sick day. Chris smalls were also fired who was a warehouse worker in New York and in March organized a walkout. “Putting others’ safety at risk by violating the social distancing guidelines.” was the reason stated by the company for firing Smalls. The firing was stated as “Disgraceful” by Letitia James, New York Attorney General. There has been a spike in demand due to the pandemic for the delivery goods and to meet it, amazon over past weeks has hired more than 1,75,000 workers. The base hourly rate of workers was also increased by $2 to make it $17 through May 16th.
Praising the workers during his note to the investors as he announced first-quarter revenues of the company, Jeff Bezos said that he is proud of his frontline employees who along with other essential workers like doctors, nurses, and police officers are doing their job. He further stated that in the second quarter company is speculated to employ $4 billion related to the ongoing pandemic charges.
Having said that, the workers say that efforts made by the company have fallen short by quite a margin to which Bray adds that it is a structural issue and it existed even before the pandemic occurred.
The company has, in the past, demonstrated great skill when it comes to spotting opportunities. It also successfully built repeatable processes to exploit them. It is an exceptionally well-managed company, but the problem is that it treats humans like “fungible units of pick-and-pack potential.” Bray further criticized the company by saying that “It lacks the vision when it comes to acknowledging the human costs that incurs when the company is seeking relentless growth.
Chloe Decker is a self-professed security expert; she has been making the people aware of the security threats. Her passion is to write about Cyber security, cryptography, malware, social engineering, internet and new media. She writes for Microsoft products at office.com/setup.