Working in an Amazon warehouse is a grueling job that comes with a wide range of industrial safety concerns and workplace risks. Amazon’s distribution centers and fulfillment centers see a large amount of turnover in the workforce.
Some warehouse employees wind up walking many miles throughout their long shifts. Other positions require workers to pack boxes at an astounding rate using repetitive motions in awkward positions that often lead to injuries to joints and muscles throughout their bodies.
Industrial Safety Concerns Lead to High Turnover at Amazon Warehouses
A recent report by the National Employment Law Project revealed some disturbing trends regarding industrial safety concerns that lead to astonishingly high employee turnover rates in California fulfillment centers for Amazon.
The turnover rate in five counties with Amazon warehouses increased to 100 percent, meaning more workers left their warehouse jobs in a five-year period than the actual number of warehouse jobs that exist. Riverside County is home to six Amazon fulfillment centers. More workers left warehouse jobs in Riverside County in 2017 centers than there were jobs available that year.
Report Belies Amazon Commitment to Employees
Former and current employees in several cities across the country have gone public with poor working conditions, protesting the treatment they claim to have received as Amazon warehouse workers.
This goes directly against the way the company presents itself through advertising efforts designed to convince prospective employees they will be treated with dignity and honesty, offering all full-time employees at least $15 an hour with a full range of benefits.
However, Amazon seems to shrug off their high rate of warehouse worker turnover, frequently offering a few thousand dollars to leave after working there a few years, on the condition that they never work for Amazon ever again. It is a system that works employees hard until they run out of steam, and the company replenishes the workforce with fresh workers to fill the warehouse positions.
Amazon Success Based on Speed, Efficiency
Amazon became the e-commerce king by promising speed and constant technological innovation to increase service and delivery times. An obsession with speed has led to employees being pushed to their limits resulting in personal injuries ranging from mild aches and pains to life-long debilitating conditions.
Reports continue to come in, claiming unsafe and dangerous workplace conditions that have warehouse and fulfillment center workers getting hurt in a variety of ways and degrees.
Amazon Reacts to COVID-19 Crisis
For their part, Amazon has made some concessions as the world battles the spread of the deadly COVID-19. The company has severely relaxed its strict attendance policies for employees across the board. Amazon has stepped up the cleaning at all of its sites and enacted other adjustments, such as asking employees to defer non-essential travel and moved the process for job candidates to video-based instead of in-person interviews.
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