Amazon Just Cut Off Warehouse Workers from a Companywide Directory

Without access to the directory, workers are siloed from the rest of the company.

Comments

1

I can neither confirm nor deny that warehouse workers are intentionally underpaid and programmers and analysts are intentionally overpaid, nor why I know or do not know this.

But it's been the case since a long time ago.

Pay attention to what they do.

2

Don't worry, Robotics will make all these outrages a moot point soon enough.

3

Anyone doing any union organization on Amazon's internal communications site is an idiot. You don't organize a union on the company's infrastructure, on the company's dime. Amazon has made it clear they are going to destroy any and all people fighting for a union.

4

@3:

I'm guessing they're not using company owned platforms for communications - for exactly the reason you cite - as that would be an "Organizing 101 rookie mistake". But, AMZN cutting off the access of warehouse employees to their internal messaging systems sounds like just the sort of dickish semi-threatening move a union-busting employer would resort to in an effort to cow their underpaid workers into submission: "Oh, you can't do your job without access to our proprietary communications system - well, how badly do you WANT your job? Just say 'no' to the union and we'll give it back and you can keep your low-wage serf status."

5

@2 The robots have already taken all the jobs they can.

More precisely, the jobs at Amazon fulfillment centers and delivery subcontractors that can be automated with R&D expenditure and operating costs low enough to make economic sense are already being done by robots or other machinery (and those expenses rise superlinearly as the complexity of the task increases-- it gets more and more expensive to build and run robots advanced enough to replace your remaining human workers).

Those people peeing in bottles? Delivery drivers, subcontracted. Despite decades of breathless almost-there hype, we're still some constant multiple of the Friedman Unit away from having self-driving delivery vans that can get from the FC to the customer address, never mind getting the package from the van onto the porch or into the lobby.

So if we all depend on these workers, and they're not going away any time soon, why not let them behave like human beings? If you'd really prefer them to act more like property, well, surely we can save THAT for the robots, too?

6

The user making use of the word "frugal" is a reference to Amazon's 12 Key Principles (or something like that). They're pointing out that there's no good reason for Amazon to remove this highly-integrated tool unless it's for reasons they don't want to divulge: like union-busting.

@1: You can neither confirm or deny anything because you're a compulsive liar that inserts himself into half the stories published by the Stranger because you have the misguided belief it will make people respect you. It doesn't.

7

@5,
"Everything that can be invented has been invented."

8

@7 "I've never even heard of diminishing returns before."

9

The workers should organize under the International Brotherhood of the Teamsters. Also, Biden-Harris should have the Justice Department and the National Labor Relations Board look into this usurpation of worker rights to organize, which are protected by federal law. Everyone should boycott Amazon for exploiting free speech and labor rights in the name of the almighty dollar. When workers are overworked, underpaid and forced to go to the bathroom in plastic bottles, it is time to organize and stand up to Bezos, the hairy macaroon driven mad by wealth, who takes naughty boudoir photos and texts them to his lovers.

10

luckily nobody in this city supports amazon by spending money on their services - we're more woker then that, right!

11

@10 Y'know, there are quite a lot of people in this city who support the unionization drive while not only buying stuff from Amazon, but also building software for it!

But do have fun checkmating the wokes there, we all need to feel special sometimes.

12

The Amazon trucks or contractor trucks parking illegally without permission in my union parking lot have New Jersey plates and we’re deep in Seattle. Is there less tax liability for Amazon to purchase or register vehicles in New Jersey vs. Washington? Something about it, other than Amazon stealing resources from an AFL-CIO union hall, seems screwy.

13

Those of you upset by this who are also Amazon customers: what level of price increases in the things you buy/consume via Amazon are you willing to absorb in order to provide better working conditions for warehouse employees and delivery drivers? It inevitably comes down to that question because we know Amazon isn't going to tolerate lower margins.

If you're a shareholder of amazon, which many employees are, what impacts to your RSUs or stock position are you willing to absorb?

14

@13 I dunno friend, what level of price increases are you assuming it would take to cover unpenalized bathroom breaks and workplace safety improvements? Maybe 0.0002%?

Amazon's gross revenue in 2020 was $386B. There are ~500,000 warehouse/delivery workers on the payroll. If we conservatively assume all of them are currently earning the US federal minimum wage of 7.25/hr for a full 40 hrs/wk and taking no vacation, and unionization raises that to $20/hr, we get a total payroll increase of $13.26B -- or 3% of revenues.

3%.

A 3% price increase for a $12.75/hr raise. For all of them.

5% to get all of those workers to $26/hr. Assuming every last one of them is currently being paid $7.25 for 40 hours 52 weeks a year.

15

@12: "The Amazon trucks or contractor trucks parking illegally without permission in my union parking lot"

The drivers are the ones parking there. The trucks don't really have much to say about it. Those drivers might be delivering items. Or contacting union reps for assistance in an organizing drive. So "parking illegally without permission"? Really?

"Is there less tax liability"

Yeah. A utility I used to work for had a couple of subcontractors whose trucks were purchased here (local dealer decals), but titled and registered in either Florida or Texas. Washington State law enforcement will go after individuals who maintain out of state registration with a vengeance. Not so much corporations. It behooves one to not upset one's superiors.

16

@14 Looks like I misread, that's $386B net revenue, not gross. So we'd have to add back cost of goods before dividing, which would make our end customer price delta substantially lower than 3%.

I'm not sure Amazon reports gross sales, though, or at least I couldn't find it in a few minutes of pawing around in a Q4 and a 10-K, so for purposes of the exercise let's assume vendors are just giving them their sold-by-Amazon inventory for free.

18

I really want a membership to whatever warped notion of Amazon exists in Art's mind.

20

@15 Thank you? for explaining my own struggle to me when you don’t have any factual understanding to share with us of how unions work, let alone mine that I’ve helped run for decades.

Amazon contract drivers are not union members or working in mine or any union’s craft. Amazon drivers, and pretty much all contract drivers anywhere, are not dues paying members to any unions, especially ours. By federal labor laws ours and other unions are not able or allowed to give much or any advice, or other resources like free parking in the city, to the Amazon drivers parking Amazon trucks in our property. By fed law we can only provide union resources to our own union members. Like unionized grocery clerks can’t be helped by Teamsters, and Teamsters can’t go into the Longshoremans Hall for advice. Our union’s building and property its on is also considered a union resource that’s only available to our union members. We are def not receiving any deliveries from Amazon - we only shop from union businesses. Amazon drivers park in or entirely block our parking lot, then bring items to Amazon customers blocks away from us because ours is the closest free parking they can steal. Our union officers and parking lot signage have told the drivers not to park in our lot it is for union members only. We’ve tried to tow the Amazon vehicles but tow trucks take a while to get from the outer edges of town and the Amazon drivers take off before we can tow. Police and city council have been involved with us in our quest to oust this particular non-union private company from using our union members property. So yes this is a thing and I’m wondering how someone can’t believe it’s a thing that Amazon or individuals wearing Amazon uniforms while they drive Amazon trucks would do.

Anyways to make a long story short fuck Amazon and Amazon, and all agents acting on its behalf, need to stop blatantly stealing from unions.

21

This is the same company who once opted to park a bunch of ambulances outside of a distribution center to take employees suffering from heat exhaustion to the hospital rather than fix the air conditioning.

24

@20: "We are def not receiving any deliveries from Amazon - we only shop from union businesses."

"Posted from my iPhone."

A noble cause, to be sure. But you aren't getting connected to the Internet if you won't buy from non union shops. Perhaps you can live on the bare necessities shopping union only. But not much more. And all those 'independent' shops you've been buying from on line (thanks to Covid). Odds are that many are part of the Amazon partner network. And now that Amazon has built its own fleet of trucks, you can't rely on the deniability of a FedEx van anymore.