Amazon prides itself on its like-minded and hard-working employees whom they have accumulated over the years by employing a method named urposeful Darwinism”. Darwin’s theory of natural selection well defines the steps that led to humans becoming the most intelligent evolved being and Amazon has employed this theory on its employees in order to become the multi-billion dollar it is now. Amazon is well aware that the US economy is essentially a free market economy and this might eventually consume Amazon.
With a free market comes the price of increased competition and eventually something better might replace them, which is why Amazon has never once taken a break from its fierce work methodology and neither has it allowed its employees to take any breaks. In the past few years, many reports have surfaced regarding employee mistreatment and harsh working environment for Amazon employees. Very few employees last long-term as many cannot cope with the fierce work ethics of Amazon.
Many past employees who have been removed or have quit themselves have reported incidents of unfair treatment and are wary from taking any sick days lest they are fired. Incidents where sick employees which included pregnant women becoming penalized for taking leave or being late have arisen. Some shocking findings that warehouse employees refrain from taking bathroom breaks afraid that they might be late or miss their targets have also come to surface. In such a hostile environment, the employees need a voice to represent them, which could be done best through a worker’s union.
Effective from November 1 of this year, Amazon has raised the minimum hourly wage of employees to 15$ per hour in response to increasing criticisms about its poor employee treatment. However, this still doesn’t change or improve the poor working conditions of its employees. Despite many attempts from Amazon employees to form a union to voice their concerns, Amazon has time and again refuted any and all attempts at employee unionization. Since it was founded in 1994, Amazon has repeatedly and successfully put a halt on all attempts of union formation by its employees and most recently in 2014 they put a stop to the unionizing efforts by a group of warehouse technicians through the aid of a high-power law firm that specialized in fighting off organized labor.
Amazon has clearly cited that they do not believe in unionization stating it is not in the best interest of the customers, their shareholders or their associates with a slight hint of threatening job security of people involved in unions. Poor labor conditions have been reported not just in the warehouses but also in all the sectors of Amazon including its offices and call center. In the decades since its founding, Amazon employees have tried to bargain better wages and working conditions via unions and strikes. Every single time such attempts were made, they were quickly resolved and quieted down.
This recent hike in minimum wages can hardly be seen as a win for the employees and instead is just another one of those times that Amazon has suppressed employees right to a voice. This wage hike is more similar to a bribe to quiet down the employees rather than any significant gesture towards the employees. This new step not only ignores the long-standing cries of employees for a right to voice their concerns, but it also takes for granted the hard work and time devoted by all Amazon employees. Expecting hard work and work ethics is the right of an employer, however, providing an ability to have a voice is a very basic right for all employees which Amazon has completely ignored and repeatedly crushed for the past two decades.