In September, an investigative report revealed that Amazon.com’s Breinigsville, PA, warehouse has been operating like a sweatshop – with employees working on their hands and knees at a frantic pace, enduring the pain because they’re afraid of losing their jobs. Amazon had even forced employees to work in temperatures so high that the company kept ambulances parked outside to carry sick workers out on stretchers.
After thousands of outraged customers wrote to Amazon’s CEO demanding that the retailer set things right, Amazon is now planning to install air conditioners in its warehouses. Unfortunately, the company hasn’t bothered to address other problems that are just as serious.
Amazon still relies on temporary employees who are forced to work at exhausting, brutal speeds simply because it’s cheaper. According to the Allentown Morning Call, one temporary worker “…was expected to pick 1,200 items in a 10-hour shift, or one item every 30 seconds.”
Unfortunately, it’s extremely difficult for temporary workers to organize for better working conditions. That’s why this holiday season, we’re urging consumers to take a pledge that they won’t shop with Amazon. You can join them here.
Like most retailers, Amazon depends on holiday shopping for a large percentage of its profit. During the biggest retail season of the year, Amazon won’t want to risk losing customers – which means right now is our best opportunity to make a difference for its warehouse workers.
Amazon is a $100 billion corporate giant–there’s simply no excuse for putting workers’ health and well-being at risk. The company’s employees deserve better. And as customers, we can demand better.