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Thinking again about buying from Amazon


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I like buying from Amazon.com - selection, prices, convenience, etc.

 

But I just read this article: http://articles.mcall.com/2011-09-18/news/mc-allentown-amazon-complaints-20110917_1_warehouse-workers-heat-stress-brutal-heat

 

I'm rethinking about future purchases from Amazon. I know we inadvertently contribute to different kinds of injustices every day. We are just so connected to the rest of the world in our purchases, our use/misuse of energy, etc. And we don't always know about the business practices of who we buy from all along the chain ....

 

Yeah, just having one of those days...

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I know it may not be pleasant to work there but just a few weeks ago, I went to a living history museum in Canada centering on the voyageurs. Nothing anyone is doing now for work in the US compares to the hardness and trevails that those people went through. And then I think about all the different pioneers and their hard work. Is it unpleasant to work in a hot environment? Sure. But it is even more unpleasant for the road layers who also work in the heat. Do I stop using roads? Obviously those workers are happy enough to do those jobs for that salary or they wouldn't do them. Would I? No, but I am fortunate enough to have a dh who is supporting our family with no need for me to work now. THese people aren't slaves and there is no reason to feel guilty about ordering from Amazon.

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I know it may not be pleasant to work there but just a few weeks ago, I went to a living history museum in Canada centering on the voyageurs. Nothing anyone is doing now for work in the US compares to the hardness and trevails that those people went through. And then I think about all the different pioneers and their hard work. Is it unpleasant to work in a hot environment? Sure. But it is even more unpleasant for the road layers who also work in the heat. Do I stop using roads? Obviously those workers are happy enough to do those jobs for that salary or they wouldn't do them. Would I? No, but I am fortunate enough to have a dh who is supporting our family with no need for me to work now. THese people aren't slaves and there is no reason to feel guilty about ordering from Amazon.

 

:iagree: DH is an industrial HVAC technician. He works required overtime when they tell him to. He works in teeny tiny spaces. He works with poisonous spiders. He works with unsafe exposed electricity, insulation, chemicals, asbestos, etc. He works at temperatures upwards of 140 degrees wearing OSHA required flame-resistant (HEAVY) long sleeves and pants. He works in nursing homes he wouldn't want to see his worst enemy in and chicken plants that make him want to be a vegetarian. And compared to other jobs he had before he got his degree, this is great. People who don't work the grunt jobs of the world have no clue what most people deal with. If you don't want to support Amazon because their workers work long hours in 100 degree temperatures for Well over minimum wage, you're going to have to stop supporting a WHOLE lot of other businesses and infrastructures.

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That news article was actually from last year and hashed over on The Hive then.

 

I agree with above posters, though. Warehouse work is hot, physically demanding work.

 

My dad owned a gas station/repair shop when I was younger. It was awful work, pumping gas in 20 below weather or pulling someone's transmission when it was 110 degrees. But someone has to do it. After my dad sold his business, he went to work as a forklift mechanic for a large warehouse company. Very unpleasant work conditions, but - again, someone has to do it.

 

It was 107 in the shade here the other day, but that didn't stop the lawn mower companies from working, it didn't stop the road construction, the garden center didn't close down, firefighters thankfully kept on fighting fires.

 

We had a water pipe break under our home last year when it was 113 degrees outside. I felt terrible for the guys digging a tunnel under our house to fix the pipe! But I can tell you they ate better than we did that week. :lol:

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I agree with everyone. Lots of jobs suck. But they are jobs, and it's not slavery-they have a choice. What's wrong with hard work? My mom works on a road crew. It sucks, but she likes her job and where would you be without them? I do think amazon can afford to raise salaries, though.

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I like buying from Amazon.com - selection, prices, convenience, etc.

 

But I just read this article: http://articles.mcall.com/2011-09-18/news/mc-allentown-amazon-complaints-20110917_1_warehouse-workers-heat-stress-brutal-heat

 

I'm rethinking about future purchases from Amazon. I know we inadvertently contribute to different kinds of injustices every day. We are just so connected to the rest of the world in our purchases, our use/misuse of energy, etc. And we don't always know about the business practices of who we buy from all along the chain ....

 

Yeah, just having one of those days...

 

My husband has been working in attics. The attic registered 146 degrees the other day. His truck, which has no air, and is black registered 130 degrees a week or so ago. Not feeling much compassion for these people sorry. They have a job and are getting paid.

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Why do you feel that? They're offering more items with free shipping than they could before.

Several small items I've had in my cart that were previously Prime eligible are not now. That is what I suspected would happen, and it has. I've heard the same from a few friends.

 

I am guessing we'll see more and more small items migrate to no longer being Prime eligible.

 

Adding on products and making things available for purchase that were previously not available would be one thing, but they are moving items that were previously Prime-eligible into the add on category :glare: IMO, not cool.

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:iagree: DH is an industrial HVAC technician. He works required overtime when they tell him to. He works in teeny tiny spaces. He works with poisonous spiders. He works with unsafe exposed electricity, insulation, chemicals, asbestos, etc. He works at temperatures upwards of 140 degrees wearing OSHA required flame-resistant (HEAVY) long sleeves and pants. He works in nursing homes he wouldn't want to see his worst enemy in and chicken plants that make him want to be a vegetarian. And compared to other jobs he had before he got his degree, this is great. People who don't work the grunt jobs of the world have no clue what most people deal with. If you don't want to support Amazon because their workers work long hours in 100 degree temperatures for Well over minimum wage, you're going to have to stop supporting a WHOLE lot of other businesses and infrastructures.

 

:iagree:

 

My dad has worked in a factory since I was a child. The factory itself is over 100 degrees. Then he dons his OSHA-mandated coveralls and climbs onto machinery that was just running in order to inspect it. My dh spent his college years working in a warehouse loading out orders, lifting ridiculous amounts of weight in the heat. Many of my friends in college worked for UPS, keeping a frantic pace.

 

I'm not terribly suprised that people want to whine about heat and not being able to set their own pace of work. :rolleyes:

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Several small items I've had in my cart that were previously Prime eligible are not now. That is what I suspected would happen, and it has. I've heard the same from a few friends.

 

I am guessing we'll see more and more small items migrate to no longer being Prime eligible.

 

Adding on products and making things available for purchase that were previously not available would be one thing, but they are moving items that were previously Prime-eligible into the add on category :glare: IMO, not cool.

 

I get this, but I've also always been a little disturbed by the amount of packaging to ship something tiny to me. From that standpoint, I don't really mind having to put the small thing with something else. It did recently mean that the single bathroom hook that I wanted sat in my cart for a week until I needed something else, though.

 

And :iagree: to what everyone else said about working conditions in the warehouses. Plus, I heard that Amazon installed extensive AC systems in those warehouses now, so those employees actually have it better than lots of UPS or postal service employees now, from what I understand.

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What is add on?

They are marketing it as a favor to customers. Their stance is they are adding on more low price items, making things available to ship that weren't available before. But you need to have 25 dollars worth of items, or a total of 25 or more. (correct me if I'm wrong, I'm going from memory).

 

That sounds potentially convenient, but what isn't convenient is that some of those "add on" items were previously Prime Eligible. I order my share of small items, and find Amazon far more convenient than heading to the store with three kids. I'm anticipating a creep of products that were or are Prime-eligible into the "add on" category.

 

For me, it diminishes some of the value of Prime.

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I get this, but I've also always been a little disturbed by the amount of packaging to ship something tiny to me. From that standpoint, I don't really mind having to put the small thing with something else. It did recently mean that the single bathroom hook that I wanted sat in my cart for a week until I needed something else, though.

 

And :iagree: to what everyone else said about working conditions in the warehouses. Plus, I heard that Amazon installed extensive AC systems in those warehouses now, so those employees actually have it better than lots of UPS or postal service employees now, from what I understand.

Yes, I dislike the packaging issue, but I dislike driving with 3 kids to the store for small items. That was a perceived value to me when I purchased Prime. At this point, it hasn't been a huge impact in my life, but if more products migrate into the add-on category, I am considering ending my Prime membership.

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Some jobs just suck. I would like to see amazon doing more to reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses in its workers, though.

 

My DH walks through filthy, hoarder houses on a regular basis (squish, squish, squish, walking from room to room). He crawls through attics and under houses in extreme heat and cold. He deals with filth, putrid odors, verbally abusive clients, scorpions, snakes, and worse. He once walked through a house that was so filthy he refused to touch *anything* in the house... and still developed an eye infection just from being there.

 

BUT... his boss also makes sure he has special masks and safety gear to prevent injury. He also has the right to refuse to work in a situation that he determines is truly unsafe for any reason.

 

So, while I can see both sides of the issue, I absolutely sympathize with the amazon workers. They may not be "slaves", but "just quit" isn't always an option if you have a family relying on your income. "Just quit" means no unemployment insurance and, at least where I live (20% unemployment), good luck finding any kind of decent work.

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I know it may not be pleasant to work there but just a few weeks ago, I went to a living history museum in Canada centering on the voyageurs. Nothing anyone is doing now for work in the US compares to the hardness and trevails that those people went through. And then I think about all the different pioneers and their hard work. Is it unpleasant to work in a hot environment? Sure. But it is even more unpleasant for the road layers who also work in the heat. Do I stop using roads? Obviously those workers are happy enough to do those jobs for that salary or they wouldn't do them. Would I? No, but I am fortunate enough to have a dh who is supporting our family with no need for me to work now. THese people aren't slaves and there is no reason to feel guilty about ordering from Amazon.

 

:iagree:My DH works in a factory. It is NOT air conditioned and all of the machinery runs between 300-500degrees. His job requires him to climb INSIDE of those machines at times. Is it hot? Absolutely. But it's a job. I think some people gripe too much instead of focusing on what they DO have.

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About the jobs: I have one down on the road that runs through the far side of our ranch, working for the county. She's in hard hat, long sleeves and heavy pants--it's hot. She'll work 10 hours today and then clean the firehouse. If she has a call, she'll be donning even heavier fire gear, putting on an SCBA and charging into a burning building. She's grateful to have both jobs. Another dd landed on a destroyer multiple times in the dark last night, moved cargo back and forth for hours, etc. And in a month, she'll be potentially be shot at whilst doing it. Her job is hot and dangerous, but it's what she signed up to do and so she does it. Dh will be working 10 hours at the airport today, coming home and haying for hours more and if he gets a call, he'll be charging into a burning aircraft or sending in someone else, not knowing if they'll be coming back out. It's what he signed up to do and he does a good job. Oldest dd might very well be cleaning 50+ horse stalls today--it's what she did on Friday, taking breaks to clean bathrooms. The stalls were particularly awful as it was after the race meet, so there were syringes and bloody bandages all over. It has to be all done by hand. And I'm seeing 10 workers across the road from us, all bending over, irrigating with hand shovels, moving the water so the hay can grow. No one likes all his job all the time, but it's what we do... Work is enobling.

 

This made me smile.

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Not thinking that those 20 (out of how many?) really want to work. Does Amazon have EMTs outside because they work their people to collapse or are the EMTs out there because some people refuse to properly hydrate and don't like giving their employer 100%?

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I'm not so disturbed that people are asked to work hard in hot warehouses. There are many jobs that people do at great physical risks - and hopefully, they are fairly compensated.

 

What I am disturbed by is mostly how they increase the "work rate" for the workers the longer they work in the warehouse. From the article it also seems like they falsely provide the possibility of permanent work as an incentive, when their other policies and actions (increasing work rate, point system) make it very difficult for temporary workers to remain on the job. [i think the implication of using mostly temporary workers is to avoid having to pay out benefits and such. It's another way for a company to wield unfair power over employees. It's one thing for a small or mid-sized company to hire temp workers b/c of seasonal variability in work flow, or instability in the market. But Amazon is a large established company.]

 

Sure, they have added AC and improved ventilation after OSHA stepped in. However, I do expect a large company in the US to be more proactively thinking on behalf of their workers' well being.

 

And I don't think that it is unreasonable to expect multi-million dollar companies to provide safe and humane working conditions and policies for their workers. We certainly don't want to revert to conditions analogous to the days of sweat shops, and such. The US hardly has any manufacturing to speak of, but maltreatment of workers can still happen in other settings.

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I'm not so disturbed that people are asked to work hard in hot warehouses. There are many jobs that people do at great physical risks - and hopefully, they are fairly compensated.

 

What I am disturbed by is mostly how they increase the "work rate" for the workers the longer they work in the warehouse. From the article it also seems like they falsely provide the possibility of permanent work as an incentive, when their other policies and actions (increasing work rate, point system) make it very difficult for temporary workers to remain on the job. [i think the implication of using mostly temporary workers is to avoid having to pay out benefits and such. It's another way for a company to wield unfair power over employees. It's one thing for a small or mid-sized company to hire temp workers b/c of seasonal variability in work flow, or instability in the market. But Amazon is a large established company.]

 

Sure, they have added AC and improved ventilation after OSHA stepped in. However, I do expect a large company in the US to be more proactively thinking on behalf of their workers' well being.

 

And I don't think that it is unreasonable to expect multi-million dollar companies to provide safe and humane working conditions and policies for their workers. We certainly don't want to revert to conditions analogous to the days of sweat shops, and such. The US hardly has any manufacturing to speak of, but maltreatment of workers can still happen in other settings.

 

Actually, Amazon does have a large seasonal element. From a quick Google, it seems that 40% of its sales are in the last quarter.

 

Honestly, I would want to read a lot more than the word of a tiny pool of workers before I jumped to any conclusions about Amazon.

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I think it's absolutely worthwhile to consider where one shops and what businesses one supports.

 

I suggest (this is serious, not snarky, believe me) encouraging all businesses you shop at to pay their workers well and have decent work conditions. Merely being paid does not justify any sort of condition to be put upon the worker by the employer.

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My dh works in a warehouse and sometimes gets really hot. But he is smart and frequently drinks water and gatorade and such to stay hydrated through the day. They do have those big industrial fans that at least circulate the air. We are in Colorado, so it isn't as hot as other parts of the country, but we do see three digit temps in the summer.

 

Amazon did have a statement on their home page today talking about one of the new benefits they have. I thought it was awesome...they will do tuition reimbursement even if the new job will not be with amazon as long as it is in a growing field (ie. healthcare.) That is unheard of with most companies. My poor best friend just got her masters in accounting because her work would pay for it. She couldn't afford to pay her own tuition ... she actually wanted a degree in nursing but couldn't go that route because it wouldn't be a potential job for her employer.

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I'm not so disturbed that people are asked to work hard in hot warehouses. There are many jobs that people do at great physical risks - and hopefully, they are fairly compensated.

 

What I am disturbed by is mostly how they increase the "work rate" for the workers the longer they work in the warehouse. From the article it also seems like they falsely provide the possibility of permanent work as an incentive, when their other policies and actions (increasing work rate, point system) make it very difficult for temporary workers to remain on the job. [i think the implication of using mostly temporary workers is to avoid having to pay out benefits and such. It's another way for a company to wield unfair power over employees. It's one thing for a small or mid-sized company to hire temp workers b/c of seasonal variability in work flow, or instability in the market. But Amazon is a large established company.]

 

Sure, they have added AC and improved ventilation after OSHA stepped in. However, I do expect a large company in the US to be more proactively thinking on behalf of their workers' well being.

 

And I don't think that it is unreasonable to expect multi-million dollar companies to provide safe and humane working conditions and policies for their workers. We certainly don't want to revert to conditions analogous to the days of sweat shops, and such. The US hardly has any manufacturing to speak of, but maltreatment of workers can still happen in other settings.

 

My husband worked for UPS for seven years. Working conditions and demands were the same. He was promised full-time work "next year" every year he was there. Most of his co-workers were temps. Amazon's business practices (and yes, they have very seasonal work as well) are par for the course.

 

My husband's current company is an international multi-billion dollar corporation. Safe and what you consider "humane" conditions just aren't a reasonable expectation for many, many jobs regardless of how big or rich the company is.

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I like buying from Amazon.com - selection, prices, convenience, etc.

 

But I just read this article: http://articles.mcall.com/2011-09-18/news/mc-allentown-amazon-complaints-20110917_1_warehouse-workers-heat-stress-brutal-heat

 

I'm rethinking about future purchases from Amazon. I know we inadvertently contribute to different kinds of injustices every day. We are just so connected to the rest of the world in our purchases, our use/misuse of energy, etc. And we don't always know about the business practices of who we buy from all along the chain ....

 

Yeah, just having one of those days...

I had not heard of this.

 

My husband worked for UPS for seven years. Working conditions and demands were the same. He was promised full-time work "next year" every year he was there. Most of his co-workers were temps. Amazon's business practices (and yes, they have very seasonal work as well) are par for the course.

 

My husband's current company is an international multi-billion dollar corporation. Safe and what you consider "humane" conditions just aren't a reasonable expectation for many, many jobs regardless of how big or rich the company is.

I did not read everyone's posts, but I would say this one is the one that pretty much sums up how I feel about the topic at hand <<<sigh>>>.
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I'm not terribly suprised that people want to whine about heat and not being able to set their own pace of work. :rolleyes:

 

Have you been eavesdropping on my life. :lol::tongue_smilie:

 

I am amazed at people who can work in 100+ temps. I start to wilt and complain when my home temps reach 75. :001_huh: By 80 I'm probably non-functional. :tongue_smilie:

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I know it may not be pleasant to work there but just a few weeks ago, I went to a living history museum in Canada centering on the voyageurs. Nothing anyone is doing now for work in the US compares to the hardness and trevails that those people went through. And then I think about all the different pioneers and their hard work. Is it unpleasant to work in a hot environment? Sure. But it is even more unpleasant for the road layers who also work in the heat. Do I stop using roads? Obviously those workers are happy enough to do those jobs for that salary or they wouldn't do them. Would I? No, but I am fortunate enough to have a dh who is supporting our family with no need for me to work now. THese people aren't slaves and there is no reason to feel guilty about ordering from Amazon.

 

:iagree: My husband has spent quite a bit of time in the summer heat in the Middle East in full gear. I have a hard time feeling sorry for these people. Crybabies.

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My husband worked for UPS for seven years. Working conditions and demands were the same. He was promised full-time work "next year" every year he was there. Most of his co-workers were temps. Amazon's business practices (and yes, they have very seasonal work as well) are par for the course.

 

My husband's current company is an international multi-billion dollar corporation. Safe and what you consider "humane" conditions just aren't a reasonable expectation for many, many jobs regardless of how big or rich the company is.

 

2 weeks ago, I was talking to a relative. She is in her early seventies. She owns and runs a small company that does medical transcription for physicians and their practices.

 

She told me that her company is one of the few companies on the East Coast that does what it does. Most of the medical transcription work is now done by subcontractors, huge companies that pay their workers by piece, by folks in India, or by computer voice recognition programs with human editing. She has 5 employees who are paid by salary. They receive health insurance, paid vacations and sick days. They also get over time pay. (I'm not sure what they do about retirement benefits.)

 

I'm glad there are still people like her around.

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I wish there were too. But that doesn't change the fact that many jobs are just downright dangerous or uncomfortable for one reason or another. It'd be nice if they weren't but until someone perfects a race of robots, that's the way it is. As for benefits companies give, I agree with you, they've been going steadily downhill. But, that's not unique to Amazon either. Big companies want to maximize profit and small companies do too. It's just not the same work world that our parents and grandparents entered.

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They just opened a warehouse near our home last year. My nephew got a job there. I can tell you that many, many people were happy to have these jobs brought here. Yes, it is really, really hot in SC in the summer and they work in the heat. So does my dh who is employed by SC DOT as a heavy line mechanic. If you live in a place with hot temps - there is a really good chance there are people working in those temps. It is just a fact of life. If you don't want to work in the heat - choose a job or career that doesn't require it.

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They just opened a warehouse near our home last year. My nephew got a job there. I can tell you that many, many people were happy to have these jobs brought here. Yes, it is really, really hot in SC in the summer and they work in the heat. So does my dh who is employed by SC DOT as a heavy line mechanic. If you live in a place with hot temps - there is a really good chance there are people working in those temps. It is just a fact of life. If you don't want to work in the heat - choose a job or career that doesn't require it.

 

Hey! My dh works for SC DOT also! He is a foreman on the bridge crew...he's been welding in 100+ degree temps. He's out right now cutting up trees from a storm because he's on call.

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You'll have to stop buying from more places than just amazon. The target warehouses are just like that. No air conditioning in a building that was just built 3 years ago. There are fans bun they are automatic and they only come on when the humidity is low. And the humidity is never low in NC. I'm guessing older warehouses are worse, and I imagine the wal mart and other big store have similar warehouses.

 

Then think about where our food comes from. Similar warehouse setups, but these place have freezers where people work in zero temps for 12 hours a day.

 

Then there are bakeries. My sis works in a Sara lee bakery. It's so hot in there with all those ovens and no air conditioning.

 

It's just the way it is in these places.

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They just opened a warehouse near our home last year. My nephew got a job there. I can tell you that many, many people were happy to have these jobs brought here. Yes, it is really, really hot in SC in the summer and they work in the heat. So does my dh who is employed by SC DOT as a heavy line mechanic. If you live in a place with hot temps - there is a really good chance there are people working in those temps. It is just a fact of life. If you don't want to work in the heat - choose a job or career that doesn't require it.

 

DH's friend works at one in the northeast. He loves it. He says the company is wonderful to work for. His wife was diagnosed with cancer shortly after he started working for them. He was treated wonderfully. They will get my business.

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I always try to take a big picture. Yes it can be hot and demanding in those warehouses, but other large merchandisers aren't any better, temp work is still work, and Amazon is also going to buy and redevelop a several-block area of downtown Seattle, revitalizing a portion of the city that's been left behind and also creating more of the "good" jobs. They aren't shipping those jobs overseas. I am not going to stop buying from them anytime soon.

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I worked in a factory in college in those temps under those types of conditions. The union workers there got much better pay and benefits than I did, but for a recent high school grad it was pretty great pay. No, those aren't the best jobs in the world but it's a far cry from child or slave labor. You'd need to re-evaluate everything you buy in the grocery store because workers that can or process food definitely work in those kind of conditions.

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I don't buy from Amazon. It is not that the work is hard or sometimes unpleasant - it is that their labour practices are unethical. The two things can be related - unethical treatment of employees can lead to unsafe workplace conditions for example - that is not the same as work that is inherently dangerous. Mining can be a dangerous profession and that does not make it unethical - if the mine owners create or allow an unsafe workplace, that is unethical.

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:iagree: My husband has spent quite a bit of time in the summer heat in the Middle East in full gear. I have a hard time feeling sorry for these people. Crybabies.

 

Assuming your husband in one of the heroes in our Armed Forces. If so, he and his co-workers were the first thing that entered my mind when I read this thread. How hot is it over there, and how much equipment do they carry? Oh, and how often do they get to take a really good shower?!?!?

 

If he is, thank him for me, and thanks to you and your family. The families serve as much as the soldiers do.

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I agree with most others are saying.

 

Hiring temps to come in, especially in warehouse/factory settings is completely normal.

 

Hot temps are to be expected in warehouses in the summer.

 

Warehouses typically do run on quantity, ie ya need to be speedy. My DH once worked for UPS, loading trucks...needed to be speedy...in college, I once worked at this factory that stuffed envelopes in bulk (think those mailers you get)....needed to be speedy.

 

Employers that have HUGE massive numbers of employees need to have very clear-cut policies regarding leave, time-off, etc. It must be the same for EVERYONE, and sometimes that means taking the hard line. It often sucks in the view of the employee, and often seems unfair....on the other hand.....for example, where DH works, a guy had a what ended up being a mild heart attack on the "floor" and left to go to the ER (it wasn't obvious that it was a heart attack, more of general not-feeling-well thing). He ended up being fired for taking the time off unapproved...WHAT!?!?!?!?? Cold-hearted, right???? BUT, guess what, it's because he had no more sick time....he had used it all up, used up all his vacation time, and was already on written warning for his attendance....so it wasn't just this one time situation. It just turns out that this last situation was one of many, and it sounds "cold-hearted" to be fired when one had a heart attack (mild, not requiring extensive hospitalization)...but there was a backstory to it. Bet he never tells that part when he complains how awful the company is for firing him when he had a heart attack.

 

This happens EVERYWHERE, not just Amazon......it's just not as news-worthy for other companies.

Edited by Samiam
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I don't buy from Amazon. It is not that the work is hard or sometimes unpleasant - it is that their labour practices are unethical. The two things can be related - unethical treatment of employees can lead to unsafe workplace conditions for example - that is not the same as work that is inherently dangerous. Mining can be a dangerous profession and that does not make it unethical - if the mine owners create or allow an unsafe workplace, that is unethical.

 

 

What's unethical? Please provide clear examples.

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What's unethical? Please provide clear examples.

 

I'm also wondering how we could possibly know exactly where it would be considered "ethical" to shop. :confused: Just because a company isn't featured on the news for having unethical business practices doesn't mean they're necessarily on the up-and-up... it may just mean they haven't been caught yet.

 

And at what point do we decide just how ethical a company has to be in order for us to do business with them? Every company has its flaws, and it would probably be relatively rare to find a large business that doesn't have some sort of employee problems or ethical issues at one level or another.

 

Short of living off the grid and growing or making everything you need from rocks and twigs, we all have to shop somewhere, and if I had to eliminate every company that someone posted a report about, claiming that they were unethical or unfair, I wouldn't have many places from which to choose.

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Assuming your husband in one of the heroes in our Armed Forces. If so, he and his co-workers were the first thing that entered my mind when I read this thread. How hot is it over there, and how much equipment do they carry? Oh, and how often do they get to take a really good shower?!?!?

 

If he is, thank him for me, and thanks to you and your family. The families serve as much as the soldiers do.

 

He was. He's out now. But doing essentially the same job (but stateside now...yay!!) with a major aeronautics company as a contractor. I was telling him about this article and he was cracking up and talking about how hot the hangar will be tomorrow when it's over 100 degrees and he is crawling all over aircraft. Lol! He just asked me the other day to pick him up some extra deodorant so he can keep some in his locker and reapply during the day. :lol: Maybe I should comment on the article and suggest this to the Amazon workers?? ;)

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The backstory that we do not know, and the fact that it is a J.O.B. My adult kids cannot find jobs this summer. One just got a job and is driving an hour each way, using gas worth an hour's work, so that is three hours' work pay lost on each shift.

 

I just ordered a batch of watch batteries. 21 batteries, for less than $15. Free regular shipping. 13 old watches will live again, and I'll have some spare batteries (cheaper in multi-packs.) I'd have paid $5 apiece for batteries at discount store, and $10 apiece at a jewelry store. I needed a clothing dryer element, and it cost me $11.85 regular delivery. It cost $24 to $38 if I drove to parts places, using time and gas. I like all those little businesses all over the U.S. that sell me things at better prices. I love buying from other people trying to resell/reuse.

 

Maybe I'm naive, but if that year-old report is the worst that can be pulled out and exagerated, I'm not thinking of leaving Amazon any time soon. I love, love, love Prime. (I live a good way out in the country, and am very frugal.)

 

Is there a more recent report of Amazon being bad, that inspired the current cover page referred to in earlier posts?

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What's unethical? Please provide clear examples.

 

I don't consider the kinds of labour practices Amazon (and many other companies) practice to be ethical. I don't think it is ethical to replace permanent positions with temp positions when the jobs are really ongoing, for example. It is a way of getting around labour regulations. I think Amazon screws book publishers. I think they are walking the edge on unfair competition and purposefully driving competition out of business. I think it is unethical to take advantage of high unemployment to treat your employees badly. I think it is unethical to set targets you know are unattainable.

 

None of this is the same as a hard job in a basically uncomfortable situation. I was ten years in the army - it was hard work and yes often uncomfortable. It was also pretty secure work which was well paid with good benefits, and they were absolutely anal about safety issues and taking good care of the troops - the men are the most important resource they have and you are not supposed to break them by treating them as expendable or throw-away tools, you are supposed to give them the best chance possible of succeeding in attaining proficiency, and set realistic goals and direct them to meet them.

 

I suppose maybe the American army does treat its troops as expendable, doesn't look out for them, and purposfully sabotages their chances of sucess, but if so I don't think that is an argument for it being a good thing. How many people working in their own small business would treat their staff that they actually had to interact with, whose family they knew, in that way? What would we think if we say the shop owner down the street doing that?

 

Of course it is impossible to know with total success what businesses are ethical and which aren't. It isn't totally impossible either and that sure doesn't mean it is ok to deal with businesses we can see are unethical. If I know the widget company uses child labour but I can't find out about the acme company that doesn't make the widget practices ok or absolve me of my role.

 

In general, I try to buy through small business which can help to some extent, especially if they are carefully about their suppliers.

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I don't consider the kinds of labour practices Amazon (and many other companies) practice to be ethical. I don't think it is ethical to replace permanent positions with temp positions when the jobs are really ongoing, for example. It is a way of getting around labour regulations. I think Amazon screws book publishers. I think they are walking the edge on unfair competition and purposefully driving competition out of business. I think it is unethical to take advantage of high unemployment to treat your employees badly. I think it is unethical to set targets you know are unattainable.

 

None of this is the same as a hard job in a basically uncomfortable situation. I was ten years in the army - it was hard work and yes often uncomfortable. It was also pretty secure work which was well paid with good benefits, and they were absolutely anal about safety issues and taking good care of the troops - the men are the most important resource they have and you are not supposed to break them by treating them as expendable or throw-away tools, you are supposed to give them the best chance possible of succeeding in attaining proficiency, and set realistic goals and direct them to meet them.

 

I suppose maybe the American army does treat its troops as expendable, doesn't look out for them, and purposfully sabotages their chances of sucess, but if so I don't think that is an argument for it being a good thing. How many people working in their own small business would treat their staff that they actually had to interact with, whose family they knew, in that way? What would we think if we say the shop owner down the street doing that?

 

Of course it is impossible to know with total success what businesses are ethical and which aren't. It isn't totally impossible either and that sure doesn't mean it is ok to deal with businesses we can see are unethical. If I know the widget company uses child labour but I can't find out about the acme company that doesn't make the widget practices ok or absolve me of my role.

 

In general, I try to buy through small business which can help to some extent, especially if they are carefully about their suppliers.

 

Wow. :001_huh:

 

That was unnecessarily harsh, and IMO, entirely uncalled-for.

 

I mean, OK, you don't like Amazon, but I'm not sure why you felt the need to bash the US Army. :glare:

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My husband has been working in attics. The attic registered 146 degrees the other day. His truck, which has no air, and is black registered 130 degrees a week or so ago. Not feeling much compassion for these people sorry. They have a job and are getting paid.

 

:iagree:It sounds harsh, but I have to agree with this.

 

My brother (non-union, hourly pay not much above minimum wage) works for a company that goes into mines and seals disintegrating piping systems with ceramic tiles. He often works 80 hours a week. It is hot, dark, dirty, dangerous work, but it is a job and he is thankful to have it.

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Try betterworldbooks.com

 

Better prices, free shipping, proceeds support literacy programs.

 

I have purchased from them in the past, but I have always done it through their Amazon store. I know I was very pleased with the books I bought, but hadn't realized that they have their own website.

 

Thanks, Dot! :001_smile:

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