Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Welcome to the revolution

I've been saying for years that Amazon is the Wal-Mart of the Internet and that it would only be a matter of time before online culture turned against it in the same way that people flip-flopped on the Waltons.
An investigation by The Sunday Times at Amazon’s enormous warehouse in Bedfordshire has found that workers were:
– Warned that the company refuses to allow sick leave, even if the worker has a legitimate doctor’s note. Taking a day off sick, even with a note, results in a penalty point. A worker with six points faces dismissal.

– Made to work a compulsory 10½hour overnight shift at the end of a five-day week. The overnight shift, which runs from Saturday evening to 5am on Sunday, means they have to work every day of the week.

– Set quotas for the number of items to be picked or packed in an hour that even a manager described as “ridiculous”. Those packing heavy Xbox games consoles had to pack 140 an hour to reach their target.

– Set against each other with a bonus scheme that penalises staff if any other member of their group fails to hit the quota.

– Made to walk up to 14 miles a shift to collect items for packing.

Given only one break of 15 minutes and another of 20 minutes per eight-hour shift and told they had to get permission to go to the toilet.
Whenever I link to a book online, 99.9% of the time it's through Powell's. Just saying.

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