Amazon Workers Left Out In the Cold: Excuses Expose Amazon’s Sustainability Issues

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I’ve heard some people in this here Valley saying that Amazon was justified in keeping warehouse workers, often clad in nothing more than t-shirts and short, outside in the wee hours of the morning in the freezing cold for ridiculously long periods of time.  Oh, they’re not saying it exactly that way.  Remember, the evacuations at the warehouses were caused by fire alarms being pulled, and the alarms were pulled so that these workers could steal, so the narrative goes.  Sometimes people with throw the word “lazy” in there before “workers,” or maybe the occasional “thieving.”  So, you know, because some workers are allegedly stealing, everyone has to be exposed to extreme cold for close to two hours so some middle managers can get some iPod Nanos back.  Some of the workers, by the way, have been saying that the managers are the ones doing the stealing.

Amazon and Amazon fans can spin this however they want. The fact remains that these procedures, and the culture that breeds them, are the definition of unsustainable business.  There’s really no better to handle rogue alarm-pulling (if, indeed, that’s what happened) than to let your workforce freeze in the early hours of a November or December morning in Pennsylvania?  That’s atrocious and unacceptable.  Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, really has no better way of cooling their facilities in the summer than farming out heat-sick workers to local ERs via a veritable concierge ambulance service?  Please.

Strike a blow for sustainability and stop buying from Amazon until they figure out how to run an ethical business on the supply side.

2 thoughts on “Amazon Workers Left Out In the Cold: Excuses Expose Amazon’s Sustainability Issues

  1. If warehouses in Pennsylvania are oppressively hot in the summer and bitterly cold in the winter…perhaps Amazon should move to a more temperate climate to improve working conditions.

    Ugly Truth.

    1. Well, the warehouses aren’t bitterly cold in the winter. The conditions outside can be. Workers were forced to stand outside in the middle of the night in frigid conditions, often in nothing more than sorts and t shirts (and shoes, of course) because they’re not allowed to get their jackets during most evacuations.

      In the summer, among the other warehouses in the same area, Amazon’s alone experienced conditions bad enough to send people to the ER and keep an ambulance service on retainer in the parking lot. No joke. So, it’s not that PA has a bad climate for warehouse work. It’s that Amazon has a bad environment for labor rights and basic worker health. Their model is simply unsustainable.

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