Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Amazon - "Walmart without the bricks and mortar"

Scott Walker, in his effort to retain his governorship so that he can use it to launch his presidential bid, often brags about how he is supposedly bringing so many jobs to the state.  Of course, what he fails to mention is that he is also driving just as many jobs from the state.

Another thing he fails to mention is exactly what kind of jobs he's supposedly drawing to the state.

For example, one of the "job creators" he was making hay with was the announcement that Amazon was building a distribution center in Kenosha.  Like most of the businesses that are coming, it's because Walker is willing to give them our tax money by the drone payload while raising our taxes even further.

But just what kind of employer is Amazon?

Not a very good one at all:
Amazon has held off attempts at union organizing in the past. In 2000, for example, the Communication Workers of America started a campaign to unionize 400 customer service employees. But Amazon soon closed the call center where they worked as part of broader cuts following the Internet boom years. In other instances, the company gave managers anti-union material to hand out and warnings of how to spot union organizing by being on the lookout for hushed conversations.

Amazon’s workplace practices have come under fire in recent years. News outlets have detailed everything from the exhausting nature of warehouse work (employees can walk as much as 15 miles daily) to ambulances waiting outside a facility to collect workers who overheated because of a lack of air conditioning. Warehouse workers in Germany have walked out several times over wage issues. Some later traveled to Seattle to picket in front of Amazon’s headquarters.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration is investigating the death of a contractor at New Jersey package sorting facility owned by Amazon, but managed by Genco, a logistics firm. Amazon is also being sued in a number of states for failing to pay workers for time spent waiting in security lines before and after work.

Steve Tadelis, a professor of economics at University of California at Berkeley who focuses on e-commerce, said that unionization would make it more complicated for Amazon to fire workers, among other things. Higher labor costs could also narrow the company’s already thin profit margin. Although Amazon has a high-tech image, blue-collar employees do most of the work. Invariably, they earn much less than high-paid computer programmers.

“Even though the typical layperson on the street thinks Amazon belongs to the same group as Google, Facebook and Twitter, it’s more like Walmart without the bricks and mortar,” said Tadelis, citing another company that has successfully fought off labor organizers over the years.
Hmmm, union busting, unsafe work conditions, low wages...yup, it's sounds like just the kind of company that would love the vulture capitalism that Walker has been grooming the state for.

Well, he did say he would create good jobs. He just never said that they would be good jobs.


  1. Replies
    1. Exactly what I was thinking as I read it. These jobs will be done by machines in less than a decade so pointless to throw tax dollars at companies bringing in low-skilled work.

    2. If Amazon takes taxpayers money then it MUST be a requirement to pay a living wage. That money circulates back in our local economy...that is ROI for taxpayers. But Guv Dumbo doesn't think about that. He is all about the cash money in his coffers. Further, progressives should refrain from ordering from Amazon. Do not support Greed. Ebay is cheaper and you are supporting small businesses. Last, speaking if Walmart - boycott them too. They also take taxpayer money, don't pay living wages, have high levels of welfare recipients due to poor wages AND the Walton children are so entitled that Alice Walton killed a MOTHER of 2 kids after one of her drinking binges because she refuses to get a driver...and it was NOT her 1st offense. Alice did 0 days in jail - she got off free. Christy Walton is also a huge donor to Guv Dumbo. With wealthy people with morals like this...why help them hurt our communities more? BOYCOTT!! I did. I won't even accept Christmas gifts for my kids from Walmart.

  2. And like those job creators at Wal-Mart, Amos Bezos of Amazon is one of the top twenty most wealthy person in the world. His worth is $25.2 Billion. They need citizen tax money both as incentives and public "welfare" ao they won't have to pay a living wage to their employees.
    We as consumers are just enabling the transfer of our money to their grotesque wealth.

  3. You are exactly right. As consumers, we hold the power but we never organize. Millions of people are far more powerful than the Walton heirs or Bezos. The fact is they need the middle and lower class to buy because there are more of us than the upper 20%. If we stop buying from them...it will bring change. 2014 is the year to organize grassroots effort to stop buying at Walmart, Sams and Amazon. Force these greedy owners to be fair and equitable not only to employees they take advantage of but to taxpayers they rip off. BOYCOTT!!!