Amazon’s Struggle with Labor: Days of Conflict and Control

In recent weeks, there was a heated discussion about how Amazon workers should pee in bottles because they have no time to go to the bathroom – a level of control that few modern corporations would dare exercise – created uproar on Twitter is.

“Amazon is reorganizing the nature of retail work – something that has traditionally been physically inexplicable and has a large amount of downtime – more than anything else in a factory that never delivers,” Spencer Cox, a former Amazon activist who is writing. His Ph.D. Thesis at the University of Minnesota about how the company is transforming labor. “For Amazon, it’s not about the money. It is about the control of the workers’ bodies and every possible moment of their time. “

Amazon did not comment for this article.

There are indications that Amazon is facing more pushback against its controls. In February, Lavenia Scott, a former warehouse worker for the company in Wackville, California, accused Amazon of suing her for having such an “abundance of work to do” that she and her colleagues got no break. Ms. Scott is seeking class-action status.

Last month, California’s labor commissioner said that 718 delivery drivers who worked for Green Messenger, a Southern California contractor for Amazon, were paid $ 5 million in wages that never got in their pocket. The drivers were paid for 10-hours, Labor commissioner said, But the package volume was so high that they often had to work 11 or more hours and through breaks.

Amazon said it would no longer work with Green Messengers and would appeal the decision. Green Messenger could not be reached for comment.

An Amazon warehouse in the Canadian province of Ontario showed a rapid spread of Kovid-19 in March. Regional Medical Officer Drs. Lawrence Loh said, “Our investigation shows that there was a need to shut down the chain of transmission.” “We provided our recommendation for Amazon.” The company, he said, “did not respond.” Health officials ordered workers to self-segregate to effectively shut down the facility for two weeks.

And five US senators wrote a letter to the company last month demanding more information about why it was equipping its delivery vans with surveillance cameras that constantly monitor the driver. Technology, the senators wrote, “raises important privacy and activist questions Amazon must answer.”

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