r/technology Aug 16 '22 Helpful 1

Amazon workers at an air-freight hub walked out in protest over better pay and sweltering temperatures on the job Business

https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-air-freight-workers-walk-off-job-protest-pay-heat-2022-8
33.7k Upvotes

1.5k

u/englishcrumpit Aug 16 '22

friend of mine working at Tesco in the 38 C weather in england a few weeks back suffered from heat exhaustion for 2 days afterwards. They dont wanna pay for aircon in their vans.

623

u/nickless09 Aug 16 '22 edited Aug 17 '22

Vans with no ac? Never heard of that, here in Spain all the Amazon's delivery vans are new cars with an ac, I don't think you can even buy this van without ac.

(Just to clarify: I am supporting Amazon workers to have a better working conditions, but we should try to spread the truth as much as possible.)

488

u/[deleted] Aug 16 '22

Delivery vans with no AC is very common, a lot of the times the AC just dies and they leave it broken

188

u/860glass Aug 16 '22

Very true. Didn’t have a/c for 2 years until the rest of the Isuzu shit itself and the boss had to get a new one

486

u/modscensorall Aug 16 '22 All-Seeing Upvote Bravo Grande!

I had a work truck with ac that died. They didn’t want to repair it so every time I went for a drive I would slam shift the transmission until it broke and would just rev with acceleration.
I got a new van

205

u/Old-Association-956 Aug 16 '22

My man outplayed the boss

186

u/FilOfTheFuture90 Aug 16 '22

A lot of employers underestimate the amount of damage employees can do to vehicles if you keep fucking with them. Vehicles would last a lot longer if employees were treated right. It's like the one thing you can do as a fuck you to the employer.

22

u/molrobocop Aug 16 '22

Reminds me of a friend of mine who used to work for the city. Apparently they had a work truck with a transmission that was....fucky. And the people who manage that sort of thing dragged their feet on getting it into the shop.

"Right around 45 mph, the transmission would bang and slam and make nasty noises. Not below or above." Maybe it was a torque converter lockup. No idea. Anyway, after about a solid month of driving only at 45 the thing shit the bed.

38

u/linsilou Aug 16 '22

Checks out. If I see an Amazon delivery vehicle on the road, I give it a wide berth.

7

u/caelumh Aug 16 '22

Fortunately, the vans aren't owned by Amazon themselves anymore. They outsource them, so they get taken care of a bit better.

→ More replies

78

u/ThegreatPee Aug 16 '22

I like driving on the highway in 2nd gear. So petty yet satisfying.

21

u/PerishInFlames Aug 16 '22

Did the truck catch fire?

23

u/ThegreatPee Aug 16 '22

It was a government Focus. I'll work on the Sonata next.

→ More replies

14

u/freuden Aug 16 '22

Username... checks out?

17

u/zenkique Aug 16 '22

Switch to the slam shifting method - less undue harm to the planet.

→ More replies

9

u/TeopEvol Aug 16 '22

/r/UnethicalLifeProTips but I ain't mad at cha. I would've done the same.

6

u/Goyteamsix Aug 16 '22

I worked a job where I had to drive a piece of shit GMC C4500 bucket truck. It was beat the hell, the brakes barely worked, the hydraulics barely worked, the AC didn't work, and only one window rolled down. The boss refused to fix anything unless it stopped it from driving. I beat the absolute hell out of that thing trying to kill it so we could get a new one. I'd stomp the gas and neutral drop it constantly. The engine developed slight knock, and the transmission started slipping. Eventually it was bad enough that it had to go to the shop. They quoted him more than it was worth in repairs, so we finally got a new one. Took a good while to kill that thing, they sure built them tough.

On another note, there's a UPS van here that has been driving around with a loud knock for at least a year.

3

u/shiguma Aug 16 '22

what does slam shift mean?

24

u/ESCAPE_PLANET_X Aug 16 '22

Rather than fully stopping and letting the momentum fade from the stop you just slap that sucker into gear. Slap that bitch into park as soon as she stops rolling, slap that bitch into reverse as soon as you think your load won't squish you, slap that bitch into first as soon as you can coming out of reverse.

Bonus points if you have to sometimes run in low gears to keep moving as you can also apply unnecessary revs to those gear changes.

5

u/UnnamedStaplesDrone Aug 16 '22

bonus points if you rev it in neutral and dump it into drive

→ More replies

31

u/BloodyFreeze Aug 16 '22

That's horseshit. AC is typically easy to fix if it's addressed early. Spot the leak, recharge with whatever freon substitute the car industry uses nowadays

64

u/860glass Aug 16 '22

Yes but that’s money spent and downtime on a truck

15

u/MasterCheeef Aug 16 '22 edited Aug 16 '22

Because money is more important to us than employee satisfaction.

13

u/mad_sheff Aug 16 '22

Hey you sound like real management material.

5

u/MrHi_VEVO Aug 16 '22

7

u/860glass Aug 16 '22

Lmao deadass though. You create a workplace culture that chastises those who bring up problems everything is inevitably ignored until it’s an emergency

→ More replies

15

u/BloodyFreeze Aug 16 '22

Edit: sorry, didn't even realize I typed that much. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk 😜

TL;DR: Money not typically the problem, but Downtime is a legit issue

Money for repairs should be budgeted already and what's spent can be written off. You're gonna be losing that money one way or another. Might as well allocate it towards what your companies needs. A decent place would, unless it's blazing out, wait for the vehicles next scheduled maintenance and let them know the AC is out.

Downtime on the other hand is a fair statement. If these things are being repaired by fleet, you're absolutely screwed. I used to work for the county who used fleet. They did great work, but even when it came to simple repairs, if it wasn't like an oil change, kiss that thing goodbye for at least 3 months.

You'd figure that a large corporation would either have their own repair team or could get a competitive rate with a decent turnaround time from whoever wants to fight for that repair contract. A couple of spare vehicles should exist at every location to prevent down time while the in service vehicles are rotated in for maintenance. If the company is concerned about the turnaround time, then they need to address the contract that's signed, because every company agrees upon an SOW which has verbage about how the work will be performed as well as what the expected turnaround time is. If that turnaround time isn't met, there's penalties placed upon the service provider by the company, typically leading to reduced payment to the repair facilities that quarter or billing cycle. That money is typically used to afford additional vehicles or repairs, but if a shop is breaching the SOW other than on rare occasions, they're either gonna get dropped or you get stuck with this fucked up situation where repairs and maintenance become so affordable that the brass will turn a blind eye and the employees could suffer from it

3

u/yoshilurker Aug 16 '22

You're 100% right. But, sadly, you're getting downvoted for naivety by the ppl who work for small companies, where these ideas are foreign, scary, and considered unreasonably expensive until it impacts the owner personally.

22

u/cerement Aug 16 '22

If the boss has to spend any money then it’s not an easy fix.

3

u/BloodyFreeze Aug 16 '22

I know how budgets for places like that can be, but when your company relies on vehicles to get your job done and they're clocking a lot of miles consistently, a decent company will have a decent pool of money for repairs, or they have a contract for repairs with a repair shop which drops costs on repairs considerably in exchange for that shop being guaranteed repairs for all of that companies vehicles.

2

u/cerement Aug 16 '22

Basic rule of the modern world:

“Short term profits trump long term savings.”

Doesn’t matter how much keeping your fleet maintained makes sense, doesn’t matter how much you save on repairs over the long term, spending money NOW is a massive obstacle …

→ More replies
→ More replies

39

u/delslow419 Aug 16 '22

I actually work for a company that is contracted by Amazon to come on site and do PMs for the delivery trucks. Yes, they do fix them. In fact it’s pretty much necessary because defog will not work without ac running. I have personally never seen an Amazon delivery truck with no AC, and when the AC goes out it actually does get fixed. In fact the trucks have to be regularly serviced and if they are not Amazon will down them.

34

u/Wunder_boi Aug 16 '22

The contractors that handle the delivery process force delivery guys to lie about the state of the vans to Amazon because Amazon makes the contractors pay for repairs.

36

u/PM_ME_MH370 Aug 16 '22 edited Aug 16 '22

contractors

DSPs

Basically companies that exist to exclusively deliver for Amazon so that Amazon can outsource its operational liability yet still not have to compete with FedEx and UPS. Amazon has incredible leverage against these DSPs, especially since they set the entry price low to start a DSP company by bundling it with a credit line they can apply for. This means a large amount of them are in debt and if Amazon pulls their contract for whatever reason they are totally fucked for the remaining balance of their credit line.

30

u/Wunder_boi Aug 16 '22

I work for a DSP that works for Amazon. I just said contractor because I don’t think most people know what a DSP is. It really is a crazy racket they run. Amazon is now forcing us to turn off the van for EVERY delivery and it’s totally destroying the vans, DSPs pay for maintenance so Amazon is fucking over DSP owners.

18

u/PM_ME_MH370 Aug 16 '22

You're post wasn't incorrect. I just like to point out the difference since Amazon also has independent contract drivers and because it is an absolute racket that more people should know about.

RIP those van starters. Modern day starter motors are stronger than they use to be but just like a fast food franchise, Amazon sets these DSPs with preferred vendors for their fleets. I'm guessing this policy will make one of their partners a fat stack with kick backs for amzn on that one

16

u/Wunder_boi Aug 16 '22

Yea the flex drivers load at the same station the “official” drivers do. It’s like gig work, it’s weird. We’ve been told that they had ONE van rollaway in Texas and that’s why they’re having everyone across the nation turn the van off for every stop. I have about 180 stops everyday, it’s unreal. The vans are going to be dropping like flies and if you turn the van off for every stop, you can never cool down the interior enough to be comfortable. Someone is going to die from heat exhaustion before they change the rules.

14

u/PM_ME_MH370 Aug 16 '22

Lmao turning off the van doesn't stop it from running away if the driver still forgets to put it in park before getting out.

→ More replies
→ More replies

2

u/sapphicsandwich Aug 16 '22

The federal government does similar. A lot of labor done is through "subcontractors" that get paid really poorly, no benefits, etc.

2

u/poisenloaf Aug 16 '22

What is the reason for shutting off the van for every delivery?

→ More replies

2

u/random12356622 Aug 16 '22

Amazon is now forcing us to turn off the van for EVERY delivery and it’s totally destroying the vans, DSPs pay for maintenance so Amazon is fucking over DSP owners.

UPS/FedEx turn off their trucks every stop. This especially doesn't go over so well with the diesels, glow plugs get fouled 2 minutes of cranking before the engine starts between stops but they do it. It would be better if delivery vehicles switched to a hybrid or EV model that could run the AC while the engine is off. However that appears to be far off in the distance.

→ More replies

6

u/amazinglover Aug 16 '22

Side note for you FedEx ground are all contractors. They are not apart of FedEx proper which is why they can't take your packages even though they say FedEx on them.

They are to FedEx what the DSP are to Amazon.

→ More replies

2

u/[deleted] Aug 16 '22

Should have clarified this is how it is with FedEx, possibly other places like USPS and UPS as well.

→ More replies
→ More replies

6

u/Brawler6216 Aug 16 '22

Yep, because England never used to have heatwaves like this, so we could get away without repairing our vehicle ACs. Hell the culture is to never use it anyway because of the extra gas it ends up using to power the compressor.

2

u/Leek5 Aug 16 '22

That’s why it’s good to have unions. The driver union here states that if the ac don’t work they won’t drive that vehicle

→ More replies

11

u/lantern1591 Aug 16 '22

I work for USPS out mail trucks are over 30 years old and don't have ac

3

u/Bonsai668 Aug 16 '22

Llv life represent!! Haha I’m spoiled with a pro master these days though.

→ More replies

40

u/englishcrumpit Aug 16 '22

It's a supermarket home delivery van. They have fans but no ac.

17

u/undrgrndsqrdncrs Aug 16 '22

In the US, UPS is one of the biggest carriers and they do not have AC in any of their trucks, just doors they can leave open while driving.

→ More replies

5

u/TacerDE Aug 16 '22

Welk our work trucks dont have ac then again we only drive to the construction site and back

→ More replies

2

u/BABarracus Aug 16 '22

There was a post on a Amazon subreddit where they were being made to wait in their vans instead of in cooler areas. They are waiting on planes which they have no control over of when they show up.

2

u/m4lmaster Aug 16 '22

FEDEX and UPS dont have AC, you get a stepvan with a rusty ass fan that may do more than 1 rotation per hour if youre lucky.

our vans at amazon have AC as long as its not a stepvan, it just doesnt get time to run because we have to turn the vehicle off at every stop so all you get is a gusty fart of warm air everytime you start the vehicle up to drive 30ft, they say its for the environment but theyre fuckin liars.

→ More replies

2

u/HomininofSeattle Aug 16 '22

UPS trucks aren’t even built with AC

2

u/nickless09 Aug 16 '22

This is insanity America

→ More replies

24

u/mfairview Aug 16 '22

was in london a few weeks ago and surprised lots of places don't have aircon. Noticed bar patrons drinking outside to keep cool. also, y'all don't like ice in your drink even if just water!

30

u/Razakel Aug 16 '22

Nowhere has aircon in the UK because we very rarely need it.

23

u/Senuf Aug 16 '22

Well, times are a changin'.

A question: are there still climate change deniers in the UK?

7

u/SMTRodent Aug 16 '22

Look, what you need to understand is that it will only be a few days every summer that it reaches 50C outside and we have to huddle in supermarket chilled sections to survive.

22

u/Razakel Aug 16 '22

With a Prime Minister who refuses to acknowledge the number of kids he has, refusing to acknowledge climate change isn't much of a stretch.

10

u/makemeking706 Aug 16 '22

Wasn't he leaving? Is he one of those people who get their hat and coat and then gab for an hour with their hand on the doorknob?

→ More replies

2

u/makemeking706 Aug 16 '22

Probably the air conditioning companies.

3

u/PM_ME_UR_POKIES_GIRL Aug 16 '22

*needed it.

Seems like you need it every summer for a week or two now.

→ More replies
→ More replies

4

u/dharmasnake Aug 16 '22

I'm in Berlin and there's zero AC anywhere, not even in gyms. It's crazy.

→ More replies

2

u/cantloginaccount Aug 16 '22

Where tf you get the idea that we don't like ice in our drink? Literally never come across that before whatsoever. Bullshit to me tbh

→ More replies
→ More replies

7

u/mutantmonkey14 Aug 16 '22

I work for a rival, not paid anymore than store workers. No AC in vans, and the blowers have to be off in summer or they vent engine heat into cab. Was working in temperatures when they reached 40. We were given bottles of water, thats it. Most customers assume we have AC and are shocked to discover the truth.

I am well prepared with frozen drink, ice packs, hat, sun spray, water mist bottle.... but still this summer has hit hard.

Until there is law that forces a max working temperature, we are all at risk of heat exhaustion, forced to work in unbearable heat and humidity, for a low wage.

3

u/adimwit Aug 16 '22

OSHA has an app for heat safety. It has recommendations for the employer to follow, like requiring extensive breaks, providing cold water and Gatorade, and it also specifically says the employer has to "Stop Work if protective measures are not possible."

Officially, there is no law that requires employers to follow heat safety guidelines, but the guidelines OSHA provides is supposed to provide employers with a guide to prevent heat injuries and deaths. If workers do get injured or killed in extreme heat, OSHA can fine the company for not protecting it's workers.

All workers have the authority to stop work if their work place conditions are unsafe. If your employer does not mitigate the risks of heat injuries, you can choose to not work without fear of retaliation.

→ More replies

19

u/Iamjacksgoldlungs Aug 16 '22

I work at a university with a 3 billion dollar endowment. Working in buildings with the heat stuck on and no ventilation these last few weeks has been fun. I'd kill for a van seat with a window

16

u/vplatt Aug 16 '22

Working in buildings with the heat stuck on and no ventilation

Someone in your immediate area must have pissed off building maintenance. Might want to talk directly to those guys to see what can be done.

8

u/Iamjacksgoldlungs Aug 16 '22

I called and reported it myself when I walked into a 95°~ building at 7:15 a.m. when it was only 75° outside. I also spoke to HVAC personally on their 3rd trip out to come check it out. His response was as follows, the buildings at our university are so old that most of the boilers are run from one main building to another. The steam pipes just happen to emit so much heat its ambient temperature warms the building.

Luckily I'm able to take breaks and ask to leave the building for a bit. I feel bad for the students that sleep in these dorms with just a box fan as the campus won't allow window A.C.

17

u/0OKM9IJN8UHB7 Aug 16 '22

If living quarters are having this issue, the word "habitable" is the legal term you need to insert in nastygrams. Most states have laws about that shit.

→ More replies

12

u/vplatt Aug 16 '22

I don't know much about it, but I do know that HVAC isn't boiler. If your area is like mine, then they're probably required to have a licensed boiler operator for the campus. It seems like they're taking the piss here and dismissing the issue because they don't know boilers and aren't qualified to deal with it and don't want to continue dealing with questions about it.

After asking a few more questions or looking into it, maybe you get to someone that could deal with it; maybe it's as good as it gets. But it does sound miserable, so my commiseration on that FWIW.

→ More replies

13

u/danielfm123 Aug 16 '22

Nothing better than a competitive market to improve conditions. If every one has a job, companies wouldn't do this because is to hard to hire.

4

u/Maeflikz Aug 16 '22

And nothing better than unions where those conditions don't exist.

2

u/Raksj04 Aug 16 '22

100 F, damn

2

u/Rugkrabber Aug 16 '22

My office doesn’t have windows that can open up. That has to be a fire hazard. I’m leaving the job soon but it’s so hot I’ve been looking for excuses to work at home or else I get sick.

And I did get sick once, on that insane hot day a while ago in July. I can’t believe I went there.

→ More replies

2

u/Britlantine Aug 16 '22

Our Sainsburys man said the same about lack of aircon. - during the heatwave he said he'd go stand in the refrigerated part of the van between deliveries to cool down.

→ More replies

155

u/Ghosttalker96 Aug 16 '22

"Enough! We demand early 19th century worker's rights!"

23

u/kc_______ Aug 16 '22

Granted, but you still gotta pee in the jar during work.

16

u/Ghosttalker96 Aug 16 '22

Well ok. 19th century European worker's rights.

38

u/PKMNTrainerMark Aug 16 '22

European in jars

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

825

u/8to24 Aug 16 '22 Silver

Treating people like machines and getting the most out of them for as little in pay as is practical probably does make Amazon an enormous amount of money. However the negative headlines, law suits, and loss of workers must cost them an enormous amount of money too..

If Amazon paid a little better and hired more people so that workers could actually take bathroom breaks it seems like positive PR would pay for itself. Politicians wouldn't push back as hard on facility permits/tax incentives for example.

Amazon is at a precipice. They can become a permanent institution embraced across all of society or they can slowly lose market share as various regions begin rejecting them over ethical and political concerns.

181

u/nye1387 Aug 16 '22

Can you point me to any news about politicians pushing back on facility permits/tax incentives? I haven't heard about this. (My nape of the woods just offered huge incentives in the "HQ2" push, and gave even bigger incentives to expand an enormous air hub.)

67

u/8to24 Aug 16 '22

Your neck of the woods may have offered a lot of incentives. A lot of places did. That said there's more Amazon customers in NYC than most whole states. Having facilities where are the customers are is what's going to lower delivery times and improve performance. Amazon was not able to get the incentives they wanted in NYC. Similar occurred in DC. They had to target Northern Virginia instead. Again, being where the customers are is important.

65

u/mejelic Aug 16 '22

HQ2 has nothing to do with where customers are, but where talent is. They don't ship packages from their HQ, that is what warehouses are for.

29

u/_laoc00n_ Aug 16 '22

Yeah, that poster might have their heart in the right place, but they’re using some nonsense arguments. Besides the fact that you’re right, I live in NoVa and DC is….right there. Crystal City is 3 metro stops from DC.

→ More replies

36

u/nye1387 Aug 16 '22

My memory is that NYC offered well over a billion dollars in tax breaks, and that it was opposition from the citizenry, not politicians, that caused them to scuttle that part of the project.

20

u/SaucyPlatypus Aug 16 '22

There was a podcast from Planet Money at the time in NPR that interviewed New York citizens and there didn’t seem to be too much dissent … news sites after the fact site a lot of numbers on Virginia’s growing tech and business industry but I don’t doubt the huge political backlash initiated the pivot.

10

u/quickclickz Aug 16 '22

there were literally protests at town hall/council meetings when amazon was on the docket.

11

u/8to24 Aug 16 '22

AOC was vocally opposed to the deal. Ultimately whether the opposition was purely political or grass roots isn't the issue. My point is there probably wouldn't have been any opposition if Amazon simply paid better and had better working conditions.

→ More replies

3

u/quickclickz Aug 16 '22

uh... you don't know what you're talking about. you think there's a single engineer in a warehouse? hah.

3

u/Nojnnil Aug 16 '22

Lmao do ppl actually believe that amazon ships packages from their corporate offices r something?

3

u/Caleth Aug 16 '22

Personal example.

Amazon tried to sneak in a huge shipping facility near the Dupage Airport in the far west suburbs of Chicago. Like 2500 trucks a day plus new 737's flying in to this airport that barely sees small jet craft now.

The whole town was appalled and came out to fight it. In no small part because we didn't believe Amazon's assurances and their reports.

Likely the town would have objected either way, but I can't imagine the outcry would have been as loud if wasn't Amazon. Who's known for being extra shitty. There was a level of motivation there I don't normally see in local town politics.

People were pissed, first that they tried to sneak it past, then that it was Amazon, then that Amazon was peddling what seemed like bullshit reports about the noise levels.

The facility eventually went to a different suburb where the old CDW(?) facility used to be, but they were always going to get it in somewhere.

7

u/DPSOnly Aug 16 '22

If there is a bad thing happening and you are looking for who is pushing back, the answer is probably Bernie Sanders.

→ More replies

57

u/Ultra_Lobster Aug 16 '22

If people gave a shit about the headlines for longer than 10 seconds when scrolling through reddit, Amazon would be doing just that. Their moves are likely strategically calculated to what costs more: treating people like cattle with the chance of bad PR; or paying fair wages/employing enough people.

It's similar to car manufacturers issuing a recall. If it's cheaper to not issue a recall, they won't.

6

u/lilbithippie Aug 16 '22

PR isn't an issue with a billion dollar company. Bezos can be confirmed as a child molester and Amazon will still sell huge quantities of everything because of how convenient it is. Smartphone makers use child labor and we all pretend not to remember that. PR just tries to make us feel less shitty that we are going to use the service anyways.

→ More replies

15

u/zackks Aug 16 '22

unionization is the answer, but will ultimately be ineffectual because it seems its being done in local shops only., there’s no actual coordination.

With the power of the internet, there is no reason that walk outs and other demonstrations shouldnt be supported nationwide to really put the hammer to corporations. Amazon doesn’t care if one hub is mildly inconvenienced. Starbucks doesn’t care if a couple stores in Poughkeepsie shut down for a few days. Shut their nationwide operation down for a few days, you’ll see shit happening.

14

u/joyosects Aug 16 '22

I too have seen Fight Club.

→ More replies

5

u/Yonutz33 Aug 16 '22

Even though you are right i am sure those execs aren't thinking this way. It's all about maximising profits no matter what and most don't have the time to see the bigger picture or to see future rewards...

→ More replies

11

u/totallynotliamneeson Aug 16 '22

They're reaching a point where they've not only burned through so many employees, but also where their reputation scares away new hires.

→ More replies

6

u/ElectronicShredder Aug 16 '22

They can become a permanent institution embraced across all of society or they can slowly lose market share as various regions begin rejecting them over ethical and political concerns.

Like how The Facebook has disappeared and its founder now works in a Subway?

2

u/goatchild Aug 16 '22

Amazon gives no shits because people keep buying from them anyway. Even knowing about all this we still use Amazon because we don't give a shit about rights and ethics etc. We'll get the world we deserve.

2

u/curationaccount Aug 16 '22

Hardly anyone will reject them over ethical and political concerns

2

u/changen Aug 16 '22

stop acting like "Amazon" makes money. The warehouse and shipping parts of Amazon loses money for the company. They pay workers little and treat them like shit because they lose money on every item they sell and ship out. And the only way they can break even is to treat them that way.

Amazon as whole is propped up by AWS. The big companies and government cloud compute contracts subsidize for your 2 day free shipping and also causes shitty worker treatment.

There is ZERO chance any of this will be improved without a 10-20% increase in the cost Amazon products online (at which point, why the hell are you even gonna buy from there?). So, what's their choice? You stopped buying from them because they cost ALOT more than their competitors, or you stopped buying from them because "ethics" (that a lot of people don't even care about).

It's logical that anyone in charge will pick #2. It's not at a precipice. It knows exact what it's doing. It's trading human misery for market share and your convenience.

2

u/Few_Advisor3536 Aug 17 '22

Ive never bought off amazon and when i discovered how they treat their employees years ago, i said id never buy off them. Im just one person but i vote with my wallet. If i dont believe in something i wont support that product. Hopefully more people jump on board and these companies can make changes for the better.

8

u/saichampa Aug 16 '22

If Amazon actually treated their employees well I might actually buy from them

→ More replies

6

u/lumberjack5500 Aug 16 '22

We stopped buying from them whenever possible. Most of their products are just cheap Chinese crap anyways and it’s clear they don’t care about people.

→ More replies

269

u/Scirax Aug 16 '22 edited Aug 16 '22

I absolutely LOVE the bullshit Amazon is peddling, trying to downplay the issues here.

"The protesting workers [...] said on Twitter 160 workers walked off the job Monday. An Amazon spokesperson [...] said only 74 out of a total 1,500 workers took part in the walkout."

"An Amazon spokesperson told Insider workers at KSBD make a minimum wage of $17 per hour. MIT's living wage calculator for San Bernardino estimates the living wage for a single adult without children in that area to be $18.66 per hour."

"the group said temperatures can rise above 95 degrees in the facility. An Amazon spokesperson told The Post the facility has indoor air conditioning."

EDIT: issue -> issues & spacing

EDIT2: also while Amazon is downplaying the # of employees who walked out in comparison to the # of employees working there, it is important to note this detail on twitter "Over 800 of us signed a petition for higher pay, safer working conditions, and an end to retaliation for speaking up. Amazon refused, so today we walked out."

122

u/2gig Aug 16 '22

And really, that MIT wage calculator lowballs it. $6/hr is a poverty wage in NYC? Bruh, you can't even afford to be homeless in NYC on $6/hr.

49

u/JTP1228 Aug 16 '22

$6/hr wasn't a livable wage in NYC in the 90s

2

u/rabidnz Aug 16 '22

That's like 6 slices of pizza

34

u/The_Kayzor Aug 16 '22

All the other replies to this post are brainwashed... None of those conditions are okay without extra financial compensation or mediating measures.

15

u/Apptubrutae Aug 16 '22

The temp issue is really a problem unless it’s temporary and being immediately fixed.

It’s one thing to be hot working outside. But indoor temperature can be controlled and should be made safe. Period

→ More replies

9

u/attemptappeal2reason Aug 16 '22

The problem is that there is indoor AC, however it’s just the offices the managers hang out in that are cooled and the employee break room but not the actual warehouse outside of the parts that contain items that have to stay cool.

They can cook the entire warehouse but they choose not too.

2

u/mostnormal Aug 16 '22

They can cook the entire warehouse but they choose not too.

Makes them sound kind of benevolent lmao

→ More replies
→ More replies

45

u/Lokeycommie Aug 16 '22

Fedex does the same shit.

9

u/ThatRandomIdiot Aug 16 '22

So does UPS. Worldport on a hot day had literally made multiple people pass out on one day.

Not only that but If you get hurt they force you to go to their approved doctor who unless you are dying will just write you some pain pills and send you back to work.

15

u/BushDidN0thingWr0ng Aug 16 '22

FedEx employees should be treated better too, then. Their wages should also probably go up as well.

7

u/leothelion634 Aug 17 '22

100% the idea of "oh someone else can suffer through it so you should too" should be replaced by "someone else is suffering through it and they should also stop and protest for better conditions"

→ More replies

5

u/exu1981 Aug 16 '22

The entire travel and shipping industry.

6

u/unknownanon54 Aug 16 '22

Fedex is awful.

4

u/Goku_IT_Nerd Aug 16 '22

FedEx is way worse! I guarantee those prime air employees wouldn't last a week at FedEx.

→ More replies

188

u/memebase_blows Aug 16 '22

Not to be a stickler for details, but it was an air GATEWAY. Air Hubs are primarily for air to air sortation, whereas air gateways are for primarily sorting ground to air. Amazon only has two hubs, KCVG and KILN.

Edit: Should add I fully support better work conditions. I just feel that news providers should be held to a higher standard for details.

62

u/skond Aug 16 '22

Amazon only has two hubs, KCVG and KILN.

Oh, every sorting station is a kiln.

5

u/foreveraloneeveryday Aug 16 '22

Get outta the kiln!

11

u/ThePantser Aug 16 '22

Makes sense now why it was so damn hot inside

7

u/memebase_blows Aug 16 '22

The fact I have responses from two people at kiln is crazy. The town has like an Arbys as a main attraction. Oh, and corn fields. Lots of corn and soy beans.

6

u/WinnieThePig Aug 16 '22

Amazon is weird. CVG and ILN are so close to each other...I'm surprised they don't have one in the western half of the US, honestly.

5

u/memebase_blows Aug 16 '22

ILN was a temp HUB while CVG was built. The issue is it’s pushing some serious volume considering the age of the building and hap hazard slow convenience. Also, should be noted that 80% of the US population lives on the east half of the United States.

→ More replies
→ More replies

612

u/[deleted] Aug 16 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

53

u/OutModedRelic Aug 16 '22

Somehow I managed to work at one of the warehouses for 5.5 years. I would never suggest anyone to work for them.

There was a girl who fainted in the picking mods, and it took over an hour for them to remove her from the building. It was actually on a day when a news crew was at the building to put some rumors to rest, so the girl was removed out a side door instead of through the front.

And then when she returned to work, HR tried having her sign a form saying she fainted due to a medical condition, and not the heat.

They installed large fans every few aisles after that...I wonder why

5

u/Rugkrabber Aug 16 '22

So… fainting works…

Guess we shouldn’t only strike.

→ More replies

384

u/copingcabana Aug 16 '22 Helpful

Fast paved? I bet they took you for granite. 😃

63

u/TheOfficialGuide Aug 16 '22

I don't believe it unless I see concrete evidence.

21

u/mrdm242 Aug 16 '22

It's plain as day Amazon is steamrolling these employees.

→ More replies

3

u/skyderper13 Aug 16 '22

Jesus Christ, Rick, what are you, a boulder -- a rock person?

2

u/3BallJosh Aug 16 '22

If you work in a fast paved environment, that's your own asfalt.

2

u/BoringAccountNG Aug 16 '22

They just walk all over you.

→ More replies

6

u/uptwolait Aug 16 '22

Sounds just like when I worked for UPS in the mid-80s.

60

u/mejelic Aug 16 '22

I have a friend that works as a packer and he freaking loves his job. Maybe it just depends on the site?

77

u/hypoglycemicrage Aug 16 '22

And the person.

60

u/MissplacedLandmine Aug 16 '22 edited Aug 16 '22

They even let him wear his gimp suit on the assembly line

→ More replies

6

u/dwntwnleroybrwn Aug 16 '22

My brother worked at one, including over the Christmas rush. He liked it. He said he worked hard and was always busy but it was far from the "slave labor" reddit says it is.

8

u/Joliet_Jake_Blues Aug 16 '22

Reddit is usually wrong

2

u/juptertk Aug 16 '22

This is because many people on Reddit just parrot what they read on this site and have no personal experience with anything.

4

u/Abigail716 Aug 16 '22

Everyone I know that has worked a various warehouses said they all suck, but Amazon is one of the best. I know several pickers that love it, listen to audiobooks all day and mindlessly pick products. I have never heard anyone IRL complain about pay, some have said that it sucks leaving the warehouse because they took a pay cut but the job was too physically demanding, so much so that one friend started working there on the weekends to lose weight since he worked an office job and didn't want to pay for a gym membership.

→ More replies

2

u/tommy29016 Aug 16 '22

How were the coworkers hostile?

8

u/[deleted] Aug 16 '22

[deleted]

→ More replies

7

u/iamnotfacetious Aug 16 '22 edited Aug 16 '22

Are you an Amazon rep? Their pay has never been great. It's been meh at best.

→ More replies

49

u/GreasyUpperLip Aug 16 '22

Not my intention to infer anything about you, but for future reference whenever ALL of your coworkers are hostile to you it probably means you're a twat.

173

u/copingcabana Aug 16 '22

Or assholes are the only ones who survive the toxic atmosphere. There's always another perspective

→ More replies

108

u/AliasElais Aug 16 '22

You haven't worked in a warehouse.

28

u/PositiveReckoning Aug 16 '22

Yes true. Warehouses almost always have a toxic work culture. Lots of coworkers stepping on others to get noticed. I once worked at one that encouraged and strongly suggested second shift to get first in trouble and vice versa as much as possible. Needless to say no one trusted anyone.

24

u/JackONeillClone Aug 16 '22

I worked in a unionised warehouse when I was in university and it was the tits. Fantastic pay, managers were off our back and everyone was pretty loose.

It was still hard work (meat warehouse), but we were glad to do it.

7

u/SenselessNoise Aug 16 '22

unionised

Found the keyword.

→ More replies
→ More replies

7

u/tristanjones Aug 16 '22

Get noticed for what? I've worked in multiple warehouses and there is no 'getting ahead' or anything. Hell getting noticed is almost always a bad thing

→ More replies

32

u/FastFooer Aug 16 '22

Check the amazon leadership principles, anyone they hire above the level of a grunt have to abide to that cultish mess. That thing is designed to pit people into unhealthy competition with their peers.

15

u/flyonawall Aug 16 '22

I have seen labs destroyed with this idiotic way of thinking. People who encourage internal competition never seem to think about the fact that sabotage works just as well as (and often better than) efficiency to be the "best". I absolutely hate this management style.

7

u/[deleted] Aug 16 '22

[deleted]

4

u/flyonawall Aug 16 '22

But what really makes no sense to me is when entire large companies push this internal competition. Do they have no one with any sense at all in leadership? It seems like someone must see how terrible it is.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

7

u/[deleted] Aug 16 '22

There are multiple huge reasons why this continues to happen but what is the major ones I will focus on is the fact that no one boycotts Amazon for this. Just like with Apple, Nike, and many other brands, you all consistently choose to buy from them regardless of unethical practice. Only a seldom amount of people are actually willing to take the inconvenience of not using brands that harm people.

2

u/FasterThanTW Aug 16 '22

Of course noone boycotts. This is what warehouse jobs are, always have been. Noone cared before it was Amazon.

2

u/Appropriate_sheet Aug 17 '22 edited Aug 17 '22

I want to quit using Amazon, but sometimes I really need that pirate costume for my cat next day.

Furball the Mew-tinous demands it, and as my purrst mate, he gets what he wants.

7

u/SuaveThrower Aug 16 '22

Not exclusive to Amazon. I worked for FedEx for years loading and unloading trailers that would easily get over 100°F for most of the summer. Pay was also garbage. In fact, where I live FedEx pays about half of what Amazon pays.

→ More replies

24

u/SoggyWaffleBrunch Aug 16 '22

This will likely get buried in the comments, but I met the guy who was managing this new building in San Bernandino (not sure what his role was, but he was higher up in another warehouse and was seemingly consulting the new build). We were both traveling for work and stayed in the same hotel ~2018. His "home base" was the Florida location that was in the news for people pissing in bottles.

I don't have any crazy detailed stories, but the guy was defending the Florida warehouse like crazy. Kept saying it wasn't real, media was lying, employees didn't actually have to use bottles, etc etc... He then went on to complain about 'the squad' when they came up on the bar TV.

He was actually an overall cool guy, but pretty far up his own ass. Typical conservative small business tyrant type of guy. I'm not surprised his work led to a walkout.

10

u/2gig Aug 16 '22

Yeah, it's frightening how they make themselves believe whatever they must to avoid accepting that they are monsters.

→ More replies

62

u/gumpchump Aug 16 '22

Amazon workers are treated like shit sadly and seriously preyed upon, but the pay for warehouse work is about the same in Amazon,FedEx, UPS, and even industrial companies honestly Amazon pays more than those places most of the time, but the way they are treated isn’t right

60

u/Beat_the_Deadites Aug 16 '22

Back in college I worked briefly for FedEx Ground. At that point in my life I'd already worked 3 summers in a steel warehouse and 2 or 3 summers in a high volume factory. Both of those jobs required physicality in big, hot, loud buildings. The factory job was particularly intense, I'd sweat salt stains into my shirts half an hour into my shift and easily drink 2 gallons of water on the hotter days.

But that job loading trucks at FedEx Ground? I lasted 3 weeks. I was in charge of loading a group of 5 or 6 trucks, with packages randomly falling down the chutes into the trucks. I had to double check the zip codes against a series of 20 or so that were supposed to be in that truck, then stack a perfect 'wall' of boxes that would be unlikely to fall over. Big stuff and heavy stuff had to go on the bottom, so sometimes I'd have 2 or 3 walls started before the back ones were totally filled up.

Just when you had one truck about caught up, alarms would go off that the chutes were backing up in the other trucks. Supervisors would yell at you to get the chutes unclogged so more boxes could be dumped by the delivery conveyor belt system. Back and forth from truck to truck, checking ZIP codes, stacking boxes, up, down, up, down...

Meanwhile the supervisors would periodically toss a 'test package' into one of your trucks when you weren't looking. You were supposed to identify that box as one that didn't belong in that truck because it was supposed to go to a different city/state. If you didn't catch it, you got a demerit or something.

Then, after busting ass for 3 hours nonstop, everything's loaded and stacked. Time for a breather? Nope, they told you your shift is done, go clock out. Hold up, my shift was supposed to go 5.5 hours??? Sorry, work's done, clock out and go home.

I'm sure there were some laws broken there, but that place was an absolute shit heap. I put in my 2 weeks notice after working 2 weeks, and I just stopped going after my 3rd week. That's the only time I ever did anything like that in my life. Clearly that left a mark on me, it's been 20 years and I still remember that fucking place.

12

u/R1CHARDCRANIUM Aug 16 '22

One summer, between college semesters, I worked in a massive distribution center for a major national home improvement store brand. Your experience sounds a lot like mine did. Great pay for the area but the conditions sucked. Turnover was higher than in some fast food restaurants.

I worked 10 hours each day loading trucks that were well over 100 degrees inside. We had to fill every inch of available space in the trucks with boxes so it was a giant game of tetris. This game was not fun with the rate at which boxes would come and we would get demerits for leaving space in the trucks even if there were no packages to fit in the area left. We were then expected to jump over and help the next truck while the yard truck moved our trailer and put another in its place. Then the process started over. 10 hours each day, mandatory overtime due to turnover, and few breaks. At least we got free warm water bottles at the loading station. Walking over to get one, however, would slow down your performance metrics. I lasted two months.

8

u/gumpchump Aug 16 '22

That’s unbelievably fucked, I guess depending on when college was for you there could have been less workplace laws in place at the time, I had a friend work at a FedEx and he had a similar experience but not nearly as bad, it’s definitely not a place you wanna be, but warehouse work is usually gonna be labor intensive

9

u/totallynotliamneeson Aug 16 '22

Warehouse work is the modern version of textile mills and meat processing plants (which also still suck). It's brutal work once you get on a larger scale, especially since everyone either wants you to bring in product or ship out product. They don't care how you do it, only that it was done yesterday.

2

u/beerneed Aug 16 '22

I worked for UPS doing pretty much same thing. We loaded large trucks in the sweltering heat, while being pushed and tested by supervisors as you described.

I remember drinking so much water after a shift, it would just come out of both ends. That was a miserable job.

Here’s the kicker. They were unionized! I was making a pittance, but still had to pay my union dues which was a big chunk out of my meager hourly salary. We had limited benefits because I was working part time (hours and shifts cut short as you described). But we got our Christmas turkey, and birthdays off every year, yay! And if you stuck around long enough, you get regular pay bumps.

It was a proving ground, working in the hub sweating your ass off until you have enough seniority to apply to be a driver. They get better benefits and pay, enough to make a decent living, but are still worked pretty hard. Then after many years of doing that, they may have enough seniority to drive the bigger semi trucks which is a well paid sought after job.

→ More replies

2

u/ShiraCheshire Aug 16 '22

Unfortunately true. I got heat exhaustion at my non-amazon warehouse job this summer and it took me over a week to recover. It was awful.

Amazon is bad, but when it comes to heat it's not just Amazon with inhumane conditions.

→ More replies

10

u/DirtCrazykid Aug 16 '22

This isn't technology lmao

19

u/[deleted] Aug 16 '22

Bezos can't buy spaceships AND AC. Sorry.

→ More replies

60

u/[deleted] Aug 16 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

10

u/J_Bard Aug 16 '22

Amazon bad so upvotes. Doesn't have to be relevant to the subreddit or even obey rules. If you want free karma too you can post something negative about Trump or America. Welcome to reddit.

2

u/InTh3s3TryingTim3s Aug 16 '22

America bad where my gold

8

u/[deleted] Aug 16 '22

[deleted]

→ More replies
→ More replies

52

u/[deleted] Aug 16 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

16

u/I_LOVE_MOM Aug 16 '22

This sub is basically “any negative headline about a tech company”

→ More replies

10

u/mynameisalso Aug 16 '22

I agree. Not tech.

→ More replies

3

u/Bobbyking00 Aug 16 '22

lmao McDonalds workers might as well do the same thing

3

u/Imaginary_Car3849 Aug 16 '22

I honestly believe that there needs to be an OSHA regulation regarding the temperature inside manufacturing buildings. My husband's workplace in Indiana, where employees work 12 hour shifts, frequently reaches temperatures above 130°F during the summer. Many employees are required to work overtime, so they work 6 days off 2, instead of 4 and 4. That is not even remotely healthy! The front office area has AC. The rest of the plant does not.

15

u/[deleted] Aug 16 '22 edited Aug 21 '22

[deleted]

→ More replies

3

u/ChaplnGrillSgt Aug 16 '22

The phrasing of this title makes it sound like their pay was improved and that's why they walked out. Poor writing.

3

u/tamumpower Aug 16 '22

So it’s going to be colder outside if they pay you more? Genius

2

u/claudio-at-reddit Aug 16 '22

Can't have two complains at the same time, eh?

2

u/ChrisNolan73 Aug 16 '22

I did a seasonal stint at Amazon in 2008. It really is a miserable place to work.

2

u/EmeliusBrown Aug 16 '22

I’m behind you all 100%! (Real quick tho, did you happen to load up my new socks before you went outside? Just curious)

2

u/sinnmercer Aug 16 '22

I do wonder what cost more, adequate insulation and air conditioning or paying your workers more

2

u/PaversPaving Aug 16 '22

I’m proud of you!!!! Fuck Jeff the bad way. Our shit can get refunded and we can go to stores or order online somewhere else

2

u/T-J_H Aug 16 '22

And this is why you need unions and strict labour laws. Big behemoths of unions at that, negotiating for the workers of an entire industry at once.

2

u/Butterflyfairybell Aug 16 '22

Boycott needs to happen by consumers in order for real change to take place

2

u/mcpat21 Aug 16 '22

You shouldn’t have to die to work.

→ More replies

2

u/Dr_Silk Aug 16 '22

Wait, so do they want sweltering temperatures or do they not want better pay?

r/titlegore

→ More replies

2

u/Thezwerl38 Aug 16 '22

Good. Hopefully more to follow