Amazon, making big bucks out of people’s misery
While Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos, plays at Star Wars, his new employees aren’t feeling the force. Initially drawn in by a decent pay offer, starting at £11 ph, they soon realise it ain’t worth it.
Amazon has a massive warehouse in Avonmouth. When we say massive, we mean bleeding enormous. One worker tells us they have a five minute walk, after stashing their stuff in their lockers, to get to their work station.
The work station amounts to a fenced-off booth. You cannot see your colleagues and are not allowed to talk to them. You are stuck there for your 10 1/2 hour shift with one conveyor belt coming in and one going out. One brings the goods in which you pack and then the other takes them out.
During your 10 1/2 shift you are expected to pack 92 parcels every hour. That’s nearly impossible and puts great strain on the workers. The only human contact is managers poking their noses in to check that you are keeping up with your quota.
Workers get two 30 minute breaks but with a five minute walk there and another five minutes back. it does not give you enough time to eat anything substantial.
The worst thing about the working arrangements is that the employees have to stand all day. This is fine if you are a fucking hobbit but difficult if you are over 5 foot 2. Most workers complain of back and leg pain.
After a four day shift under these conditions, they are knackered. Most do not last long and there is a continuous stream of new employees who work until they cannot take it anymore. Only to be replaced by someone who looks at the wages but hasn’t got a clue about the working conditions.
Unions are trying to organise in there. While Amazon refuse to recognise any union for collective bargaining. If you are effected by these working practises by these working practises, want to fight back and want to know more, give ’em a shout.iww.org.uk/bristol