Jeff Bezos downplays claims Amazon employees are ‘determined souls’, ‘robots’ who cannot take rest room breaks

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

  • Jeff Bezos defended Amazon workers’ working situations in his 2020 letter to shareholders.
  • Bezos mentioned employees are inaccurately portrayed as “determined souls” and “robots” in information studies.
  • However after the failed Alabama union vote, Amazon must “do a greater job” for employees, Bezos mentioned.
  • For extra tales go to Enterprise Insider.

Jeff Bezos is on the defensive about how Amazon treats its workers following the failed union vote at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse.

In Bezos’ 2020 letter to shareholders, his ultimate letter as CEO of Amazon, he mentioned Amazon’s relationship with its workers after employees voted towards forming a union final week, a vote that Bezos known as “lopsided.”

The vote depend, which completed final Friday afternoon, confirmed that 1,798 workers had voted towards unionizing and 738 had voted for the union. Whereas over 500 votes have been challenged and 76 votes have been voided, 70.9% of the legitimate votes have been towards the union.

In his letter, Bezos mentioned he feels Amazon’s direct relationship with workers is powerful, however that the corporate wants “a greater imaginative and prescient for a way we create worth for workers – a imaginative and prescient for his or her success.”

“Does your Chair take consolation within the end result of the latest union vote in Bessemer? No, he would not,” Bezos wrote. “I believe we have to do a greater job for our workers.”

Bezos additionally not directly mentioned the controversy surrounding Amazon’s Twitter spat final month. In response to a tweet from Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan about working situations at Amazon, Amazon’s Twitter account wrote: “You do not actually imagine the peeing in bottles factor, do you? If that have been true, no person would work for us.”

The tweet sparked an uproar amongst workers, largely Amazon supply drivers, who mentioned that peeing in bottles is an “inhumane” but frequent a part of the job. Insider additionally spoke with a number of drivers who mentioned that they’ve needed to poop in luggage and struggled to alter menstrual pads throughout their shift, along with peeing in bottles.

In line with James Bloodworth, a British writer who went undercover at an Amazon success heart in 2018, warehouse workers have been scolded for taking rest room breaks. He informed Insider on the time that he discovered bottles of pee whereas on the job.

In his letter, Bezos known as information studies about how Amazon workers are handled inaccurate, claiming that employees are portrayed as “determined souls” and “robots.” He highlighted the casual break time that workers are capable of take throughout their shifts to “stretch, get water, use the remaining room, or speak to a supervisor,” which he mentioned do not affect efficiency. These breaks are along with a lunch break and different break employees get throughout their shifts, Bezos mentioned.

Bezos additionally pushed again towards the notion that workers are held to unachievable efficiency objectives, which was a primary theme within the union push: Employees informed Insider they have been unfairly punished for taking “day without work process,” or time away from their workstations.

However Bezos mentioned that efficiency is evaluated over an extended time frame and workers are supplied with teaching if they don’t seem to be assembly their objectives.

“We do not set unreasonable efficiency objectives,” he mentioned. “We set achievable efficiency objectives that take note of tenure and precise worker efficiency information. Efficiency is evaluated over an extended time frame as we all know that quite a lot of issues can affect efficiency in any given week, day, or hour.”

Bezos’ feedback come amid growing stress on Amazon from all sides, significantly from lawmakers. Amazon’s Alabama union vote drew the eye of Sen. Bernie Sanders and President Joe Biden, who publicly supported the employees trying to unionize and criticized Amazon’s aggressive marketing campaign towards the union. The corporate has additionally been the topic of antitrust scrutiny during the last yr, with authorities leaders questioning Amazon’s energy and affect.

Because the stress mounts, Bezos, who testified earlier than Congress for the primary time final yr, will step apart as CEO within the third quarter of 2021 and will likely be changed by AWS CEO Andy Jassy.

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