With Amazon promising one-day delivery on most items starting this year, we have to wonder how warehouse workers are affected. Answer: Not good.
Amazon To Automate Everything, Including Firing Workers
Credit: Scott Lewis
April 27, 2019

AP tells us

“Amazon, which hooked shoppers on getting just about anything delivered in two days, announced Thursday that it will soon promise one-day delivery for its U.S. Prime members on most items.

“The company hopes that cutting delivery times in half will make its $119-a year Prime membership more attractive, since every other online store offers free deliveries in two days. Amazon also can’t compete with Walmart and Target, where ordering online and picking up at a store is becoming more popular with shoppers.”

Which makes me wonder how much worse the Amazon warehouse worker is gonna have it.

Wait, what’s that you say?

“Critics say those fulfillment center workers face strenuous conditions: workers are pressed to “make rate,” with some packing hundreds of boxes per hour, and losing their job if they don’t move fast enough. “You’ve always got somebody right behind you who’s ready to take your job,” says Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and a prominent Amazon critic.

Documents obtained by The Verge show those productivity firings are far more common than outsiders realize. In a signed letter last year, an attorney representing Amazon said the company fired “hundreds” of employees at a single facility between August of 2017 and September 2018 for failing to meet productivity quotas. A spokesperson for the company said that, over that time, roughly 300 full-time associates were terminated for inefficiency…

“…The documents also show a deeply automated tracking and termination process. “Amazon’s system tracks the rates of each individual associate’s productivity,” according to the letter, “and automatically generates any warnings or terminations regarding quality or productivity without input from supervisors.” (Amazon says supervisors are able to override the process.)”

There is almost nothing positive I can say about Amazon. Just the way Walmart ruined local, main street, Mom & Pop commerce, Amazon is wrecking everything else in retail. I get it that in the rural outposts of the Empire, sometimes there is no other option; hell, even here in downtown Seattle there is no other option than Amazon, and it makes me furious.

But imagine being fired by an algorithm because another algorithm says you are not fast enough? Aside from Comrade Trump, who amongst us really wants automated firing? Is having your singing fish a day earlier worth this dystopian version of Workers Paradise #3?

Republished with permission from Mock, Paper, Scissors

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