A former Amazon vice president told the New York Times that Amazon has put in place many policies aimed at preventing worker laziness in the workplace.
David Niekerk, who designs the company’s warehouse management system, believes that people are inherently lazy, so CEO Jeff Bezos created those policies. According to him, employees’ desire to work effectively will decrease over time.
Niekerk said: “He thinks it’s in our nature to find ways to expend as little energy as possible to get what we want“. He points to the short-term working model that doesn’t give workers many advancement opportunities and how the e-commerce giant is using technology to prevent their laziness.
A report revealed that Amazon does not guarantee a raise for employees after the first 3 years. This is the company’s way of getting rid of disgruntled employees in a legitimate way.
According to Niekerk, some of Amazon’s most controversial ways are to fire employees during their low-productivity days or make them work with almost no time off to increase productivity.
This makes a large part of employees feel as if the company is treating them like machines rather than humans. One person wrote on a warehouse’s internal feedback board last year: “We are people, not tools to be used to achieve daily and weekly goals“.
This past March, the Canadian news group Thomson Reuters published a shocking report about an Amazon delivery driver in Denver. This person said he had to go through excessive monitoring of the AI system installed by Amazon in the car.
He shared: “It’s a serious breach of privacy and a breach of mutual trust. Being tracked and reported when yawning can help increase safety but no one is comfortable with it. The company’s requirement for drivers to agree to constant supervision during deliveries seems to be a form of coercion rather than their voluntary“. After that, he quit his job because he was too angry.
Additionally, Amazon’s worker productivity requirements have made them the leader in workplace injuries. Earlier this month, the Washington Post published an analysis of data from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration, showing that Amazon warehouse workers are at a higher risk of serious injury than workers at other companies. competitors like Walmart.
According to a 2020 statistic, about 6 out of every 100 Amazon employees suffer a work-related injury. This number at Walmart is only 2.5.
Earlier, another newspaper report showed that Amazon has long been a work environment with higher injury rates than its industry competitors. They even asserted that Amazon misled the public and regulators by underreporting injuries and delaying treatment for workers.
For its part, Amazon says it will invest more than $300 million this year in workplace safety measures to reduce employee injuries.
In Jeff Bezos’ final shareholder letter as CEO, he also detailed his plan to use algorithms to rotate workers between jobs so they can use different muscle groups instead. because you have to work a single muscle group for a long time. The billionaire added that the company “needs a better vision of how to create value for employees”.
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