Amazon Warehouse

Jason Del Rey

Commerce


To online shoppers, Amazon has become an indispensable part of their lives. To some former employees and business partners, a deal with Amazon is a threat to their livelihoods.

In a documentary called Amazon Rising, which premiered Sunday evening and will re-air on Monday night, CNBC exposed a darker side to Amazon’s business practices.

Among the negative facets of the business it explored were worker conditions at Amazon warehouses and claims that Amazon steals business from some of the very partners who sell on its marketplace.

While CNBC found warehouse employees who were thankful for the pay and benefits that come with a job at an Amazon fulfillment center, several spoke out about against the unrelenting pace of work and unreasonable expectations that take a physical and mental toll on employees.

“I felt like Amazon was a prison,” one former female worker said in the documentary. She and others interviewed reported tough working conditions that include being timed on just about any action imaginable, from bathroom breaks to packing boxes to picking products off of shelves.

CNBC also said it spoke to more than 100 independent businesses who sell their wares through Amazon’s online market. Two dozen of them, according to CNBC, claimed that Amazon attempted to ink separate deals with the merchant’s suppliers to purchase the same goods that the merchant sells and compete directly with them on Amazon.com.

“That is the playbook,” former Amazon exec John Rossman told CNBC, whose parent company NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Revere Digital, which publishes Re/code.

The documentary will re-air this evening at 7 pm ET. Here’s a clip from the documentary of two former Amazon execs dishing on what it’s like to work for CEO Jeff Bezos.



5 comments
Zammana
Zammana

 Funny how workers whine at being expected to actually work.  Forty years ago when I painted guitars for CBS Musical Instruments (Fender) the engineers would stand behind you with a stopwatch timing every move you made.  Then they'd pull a guitar or two out of the oven and chip off a piece of paint and measure it with a micrometer to see if you were putting too much product on it.  Spraying polyester with guns modified to inject the sulphuric acid activator into the spray, no air conditioning, and headgear, respirator, gloves, and hands too dirty you couldn't wipe the sweat out your eyes but just had to blink it away.  Lotta jobs like that.  It wasn't Disneyland - that's why they paid you come in instead of the other way around. 

Bardo
Bardo

"Two dozen of them, according to CNBC, claimed that Amazon attempted to ink separate deals with the merchant’s suppliers to purchase the same goods that the merchant sells and compete directly with them on Amazon.com."

So they are re-sellers, middlemen...  and they're shocked that Amazon wants to cut them out of the loop so they can lower prices?  Boo freaking hoo.

Don't want Amazon competing against you?  Become the manufacturer, not a middleman.

hello
hello

@Bardo  True that! LOL. I love it when middle-men whine.