Amazon workers struggles

“This is a modern-day sweatshop”

Amazon workers speak out against inadequate safety measures

By our reporters, 13 August 2020

As the company makes money hand over fist from the pandemic's boost to online retail sales, hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers labor for long hours in unsafe conditions at Amazon's fulfillment centers.

COVID-19: A blessing for Bezos and a nightmare for workers

By Shuvu Batta, 10 August 2020

While workers fight for safe working conditions and adequate pay, Amazon has taken advantage of the business opportunities opened up by COVID-19.

Amazon violates its own health and safety rules in COVID-19 coverup

By Nick Barrickman and Patrick Smith, 5 August 2020

Amazon continues to withhold the number of reported coronavirus infections from its own workers and the public, placing countless lives in danger.

Amazon workers in Germany strike against lack of coronavirus protection

By Marianne Arens, 30 June 2020

More than 2,000 Amazon workers are taking part in a 48-hour strike at six locations to protest the company’s refusal to provide adequate protection from the virus.

As COVID-19 spreads in Minnesota, Wisconsin warehouses

Amazon worker’s job in limbo after seeking to take time off for injury

By Nick Barrickman, 25 June 2020

Seeking to take time off after breaking his wrist in a fall, the worker was denied access to his jobsite and had his identification card deactivated.

Former Amazon worker Jana Jumpp says the nearly 1,600 COVID-19 cases she has counted in warehouses are “just the tip of the iceberg”

By Tom Carter, 22 June 2020

Jana Jumpp has tracked cases across 244 locations worldwide, including 236 in the US, and she has counted at least nine Amazon worker deaths.

“The cops have no concern for the people they’re shooting at”

Amazon workers declare support for mass protests as management imposes pay cut

By Tom Carter, 8 June 2020

Amazon workers expressed solidarity with the protests, even as the company, which provides facial recognition software to police departments, feigned concern over racism and inequality.

Workers sickened after Amazon sprays industrial strength chemicals to disinfect warehouse

By Samuel Davidson, 1 June 2020

At least three Amazon workers in Ohio fell sick after management sprayed industrial strength chemicals while workers were still inside.

Local television stations broadcast fake news stories scripted by Amazon

By Douglas Lyons and Nick Barrickman, 29 May 2020

Reporters at nearly a dozen local news stations in the US dutifully read from scripts prepared by Amazon while broadcasting public relations videos prepared and edited by the company.

“They can more than afford to let us keep it permanently”

Amazon workers react to elimination of pandemic hazard pay

By Douglas Lyons, 21 May 2020

Amazon has terminated its unpaid sick time policy and will roll back the $2 per hour pay raise it implemented during the coronavirus pandemic, despite the rising number of infections.

Amazon eliminates pay raises for workers as COVID-19 toll mounts

By Douglas Lyons, 18 May 2020

As the number of infections and deaths continues to rise at Amazon, the world’s richest man joins Trump’s murderous campaign to “reopen” the economy.

Democrats and unions seek to suppress resistance by Amazon workers

By Shuvu Batta, 13 May 2020

Seeking to contain the outrage of workers over deadly working conditions, the Democratic Party and trade unions have embarked on a campaign among “essential” workers.

US Amazon worker describes callous attitude toward safety as management reports $75 billion in 2020 revenue

By Nick Barrickman, 4 May 2020

Amazon did little to protect its workforce during the first several weeks in March, when the COVID-19 disease was declared a pandemic.

May 1 “general strike” at Amazon: A failed adventure by the Democratic Party and the unions

By the International Amazon Workers Voice, 2 May 2020

This was not a real struggle led by the workers, but a ploy by the Democratic Party, the unions, and their hangers-on to disrupt and gain control of growing working class opposition to deadly workplace conditions.

Sixty-eight Amazon workers fall ill with COVID-19 at Winsen, Germany warehouse

By Marianne Arens, 1 May 2020

While Amazon has profited massively from the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of its workers throughout the world have become infected with COVID-19.

Democrats, unions set trap for workers with phony May Day Amazon strike

By the International Amazon Workers Voice, 1 May 2020

The WSWS and International Amazon Workers Voice spoke to dozens of Amazon and logistics workers, none of whom had heard of or had any say in planning this protest.

“How many people have to die for us to be treated like human beings?”

Tracy, California Amazon worker speaks out on coworker’s death

By Evan Blake, 30 April 2020

At least one worker at the warehouse has died from COVID-19 and many other have tested positive, as management moves to force workers to accept deadly working conditions or face getting fired and losing unemployment benefits.

“We don’t want to be the guinea pigs”

Strikes, job actions escalate as corporations rush to reopen amidst coronavirus pandemic

By Jerry White, 28 April 2020

Garment workers in Selma, Alabama, nursing home workers in Illinois and Philadelphia, and Amazon workers in Minnesota are among the latest sections of workers demanding protection from the spread of the virus.

More than two-thirds of US Amazon facilities may have had coronavirus cases

By Erik Schreiber, 27 April 2020

As Amazon’s stock price reaches a record high, the company’s belated provision of inadequate protective measures is putting workers’ lives at risk.

Amazon workers continue job actions and protests, as tech employees plan Friday sickout

By Shuvu Batta, 23 April 2020

Amazon workers’ courageous actions, defying the company’s intimidation campaign, are winning the support of wider layers of the working class.

Amazon shuts down French distribution centers after court requires protection of employees from coronavirus

By Will Morrow, 22 April 2020

The closure is a naked act of economic blackmail, using Amazon’s control over logistics infrastructure to sabotage the distribution of essential goods.

Build rank-and-file committees at Amazon! For maximum safety, universal testing, and workers’ control of production!

Statement by the International Amazon Workers Voice, 22 April 2020

Amazon workers need organizations to fight, but the unions which are trying to “organize” them, have a long record of betraying the working class.

“They have our lives in their hands”

Amazon concealed COVID-19 case at Pennsylvania warehouse

By Samuel Davidson and Kayla Costa, 21 April 2020

With management demanding that production continue despite unsafe conditions, workers are now speaking out and organizing wildcat walkouts.

Letter from Amazon CEO Jeffrey Bezos seeks to cover for efforts to exploit the COVID-19 crisis for profit

By Nick Barrickman, 18 April 2020

In a defensively-worded “letter to shareowners,” the Amazon CEO sought to downplay and paper over the conglomerate’s abusive and reckless behavior during the crisis.

Amazon cracks down on rebellious workers as first COVID-19 fatality is reported

By Tom Carter, 16 April 2020

Amazon fired three workers who challenged the company’s failure to ensure safe working conditions during the pandemic.

“Production costs do not equal the cost of a human life”

Outrage grows as Amazon workers die for Bezos’ profits

By Nick Barrickman, 16 April 2020

Workers across the US denounced Bezos’ fortune and the company’s unsafe practices, which are leading to increasing sickness and death in its facilities.

Union seeks to block strike as Polish Amazon workers contract COVID-19

By Clara Weiss, 13 April 2020

The union seeks to prevent a strike under conditions where the coronavirus pandemic is starkly exposing the devastating consequences of the restoration of capitalism.

999 Amazon workers protests

13 April 2020

999 Amazon workers protests

11 April 2020

040 Amazon workers protests

10 April 2020

Quarantined Amazon worker in Texas denied sick pay, unable to get tested for coronavirus

By Tom Carter, 6 April 2020

Jo, a quarantined Amazon worker at DFW7, has not received any sick pay despite a glossy company leaflet promising that quarantined employees “will receive up to two weeks of additional paid time off, so they can get healthy without worrying about lost income.”

Chicago Amazon workers demonstrate to demand protection from COVID-19

By George Gallanis, 4 April 2020

Amazon workers walked out yesterday to demand worker protections and that the facility be shut down for two weeks after two workers tested positive for COVID-19.

Amazon, Whole Foods, and Instacart workers strike against hazardous conditions

By Shuvu Batta, 1 April 2020

Gig economy workers are entering into struggle against dangerous working conditions that threaten a wider spread of the pandemic.

Detroit Amazon workers strike to demand COVID-19 protection

By Jerry White, 1 April 2020

Amazon workers at the Detroit area DTW1 facility walked out Wednesday to demand the closure and sanitizing of the warehouse after a third worker tested positive for COVID-19.

Amazon fires New York worker for leading strike demanding safe working conditions

By Shuvu Batta, 31 March 2020

Nationwide, at least ten Amazon facilities have confirmed cases. The strikers said that Amazon was deliberately hiding the real number of those infected.

“We should be the ones deciding how this could be run to be safe for us”

Amazon warehouse workers describe unsafe conditions and discuss forming workplace committees

By Douglas Lyons and Samuel Davidson, 31 March 2020

Workers at the JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island, New York walked out Monday to protest the prevailing conditions.

As more workers test positive for COVID-19, Amazon ignores demands to close warehouses

By Tom Carter, 25 March 2020

At least three Amazon workers in Shepherdsville, Kentucky tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday, following the discovery of COVID-19 cases in New York, Florida and Michigan warehouses.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ message to warehouse workers: Keep working despite coronavirus threat

By Nick Barrickman, 24 March 2020

After strikes by US and European Amazon workers over the danger to their health, the company’s billionaire CEO feigned concern while insisting that workers keep pumping out profits.

South Carolina Amazon worker speaks on loss of his health, benefits and job

By Ed Hightower and Michael Walters, 21 March 2020

Donald Thrift Jr was left jobless with $27,000 in medical debt after contracting double pneumonia while working in an Amazon fulfillment center in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Amazon workers in New York City shut down warehouse after worker tests positive for coronavirus

By Shuvu Batta, 21 March 2020

The discovery that an Amazon worker in Queens had tested positive for coronavirus sparked work stoppages which shut the processing facility Thursday night.

045 European Amazon coronavirus strike

20 March 2020

230 Spartanburg Amazon interview

20 March 2020

“Amazon puts us at risk:” Warehouse workers discuss company’s inaction in the face of the coronavirus pandemic

By Tom Carter, 19 March 2020

For workers in the the online retail giant’s facilities, few precautions have been taken beyond making hand sanitizer available and posting signs instructing workers to wash their hands.

First Amazon worker at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters tests positive for coronavirus

By Mike Ingram, 5 March 2020

An Amazon employee, the first at the company’s Seattle headquarters, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Two of the company’s employees in Italy had contracted the virus and are in quarantine.

“If you are not cheating, you are not doing your job” – Amazon manager

Spartanburg SC Amazon workers speak on brutal conditions

By Ed Hightower, Kranti Kumara and Hiram Lee, 28 February 2020

A WSWS reporting team travelled to Spartanburg and met with several Amazon workers, past and present, to discuss their reactions the coverage by the WSWS of conditions at the Amazon warehouse in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launches $10 billion climate change fund

By Kevin Reed, 21 February 2020

In response to growing opposition within Amazon, as well as society as a whole, to the growing climate crisis and the role of super-rich billionaires in it, Bezos, the world’s richest person, has launched a new philanthropic fund.

Judge rules in favor of Amazon, halts work on JEDI contract by Microsoft

By Kevin Reed, 17 February 2020

The decision by a federal judge to grant Amazon’s request is an indication of bitter conflict within the ruling establishment.

Amazon employees defy management and publicly protest corporate policies

By Kevin Reed, 30 January 2020

Hundreds of Amazon employees posted public criticisms of their employer and statements of support for fellow workers who have been threatened with firing for speaking out against the tech company’s climate policies.

Working through injuries, bomb threats and tornadoes: Amazon workers describe conditions at Spartanburg, South Carolina warehouse

By Tom Carter, 13 January 2020

According to OSHA, there were 57 injuries last year at the GSP1 facility—but Amazon workers suspect the real number is higher.

At what human cost?

Amazon Logistics set to surpass delivery volume of FedEx, UPS by 2022

By Kayla Costa, 21 December 2019

The advanced techniques of workplace exploitation along with low wages and breakneck conditions that have made Amazon notorious are being set as the standard for the entire logistics industry.

060 Seattle election

11 November 2019

Amazon workers in California win job back for fired co-workers

By Kayla Costa, 9 October 2019

The development is a result of a recent group formed by workers at a delivery center in Sacramento, California, who submitted a petition of 78 signatures demanding the rehiring, full back pay, and paid time off for all part-time workers.

060 Amazon workers win reinstatement of co-workers

8 October 2019

Jeff Bezos’ Whole Foods slashes medical benefits for nearly 2,000 part-time workers

By Eddie Haywood, 3 October 2019

Bezos, net worth $115 billion, makes enough money in 2 to 6 hours to more than cover the cost of an entire year of benefits for all of the workers facing cuts.

Scores arrested in protests against ICE in New York City

By Owen Mullan, 13 August 2019

The demonstrations pointed to the collaboration between border police and US technology firms such as Amazon.

Trump orders review of Pentagon’s JEDI cloud computing contract

By Nick Barrickman, 5 August 2019

Trump’s decision to halt the bidding process reflects concerns over Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ opposition to the administration’s policies.

Chicago Amazon workers confront management, demand improvements

By George Gallanis, 25 July 2019

The day after international protests against Amazon during Prime Day, Chicago Amazon workers staged a “walk-in” to demand increased pay, health insurance and air conditioning in their facility.

Amazon workers internationally protest against conditions on Prime Day

By Kayla Costa, 16 July 2019

Across the US and in Europe, Amazon workers are protesting dangerous working conditions, low pay and the company’s ties to the US immigration Gestapo.

Jeff Bezos flaunts obscene wealth with $80 million Manhattan penthouse purchase

By Clare Hurley, 16 July 2019

Bezos’ $137 billion combined wealth could pay the annual median rent for all 250,000 Amazon workers in the US for 100 years.

“Amazon is a murderer and has to be stopped”

Amazon call center worker in Rabat, Morocco speaks out against company harassment

By Will Morrow, 13 July 2019

Ismaila N’Diaye, a 32-year-old former Amazon customer service employee in Rabat, said the life of his family has been torn apart by the company.

Amazon’s 25th anniversary: A conglomerate based on parasitism and exploitation

By Tom Carter, 8 July 2019

The technology and infrastructure behind Amazon’s meteoric trajectory and the biggest individual fortune in modern history must be turned towards the needs and aspirations of the world’s population as a whole.

Amazon’s meat grinder in the Dallas, Texas suburbs

By Tom Carter, 2 July 2019

Over a two-year period, 567 workers were injured at Amazon’s DFW7 fulfillment center in Fort Worth, Texas.

Creating the framework for government-directed online censorship

House Judiciary Committee begins antitrust inquiry into big tech

By Kevin Reed, 14 June 2019

A House subcommittee hearing on Tuesday began a major bipartisan drive for government-directed censorship of website and social media content.

Amazon posts record $3.6 billion profit in first three months of 2019

By Niles Niemuth, 27 April 2019

Amazon plans to increase the exploitation of workers in the US and internationally by implementing free one day shipping for Prime subscribers to ensure ever-bigger profits.

Replying to Woody Allen suit, Amazon acknowledges McCarthyite character of #MeToo campaign

By David Walsh, 6 April 2019

Lawyers for Amazon Studios filed a motion in federal court in New York City on Wednesday seeking to dismiss a lawsuit launched by filmmaker Woody Allen. Their arguments were extremely revealing.

Amazon Air cargo flight crashes after vicious cost-cutting

By Erik Schreiber, 2 April 2019

The immediate cause of a cargo flight crash near Houston is as yet unknown, but it took place in the context of management’s relentless attacks on workers’ pay and on safety standards.

Report details suicide crisis inside Amazon facilities

By E.P. Milligan, 15 March 2019

The mental health epidemic that has exploded within the corporate behemoth is the direct result of the brutal exploitation of its workforce.

Amazon HQ2’s campus connection

The marriage of militarism, big business and academia in Northern Virginia

By Nick Barrickman, 9 March 2019

The integration of US imperialism, academia and corporate America raises the need to expropriate massive companies like Amazon and place them under democratic control.

Cuts to hours for Whole Foods workers exposes fraud of Amazon pay increase

By Tom Hall, 8 March 2019

A report in the Guardian showed that workers at the Amazon-owned grocery chain have had their hours cut back to compensate for last year’s pay increase to $15 per hour.

After months of courtship, Amazon calls off New York HQ2 deal

By Clare Hurley, 18 February 2019

The decision to pull out over opposition from workers locally comes amid news that Amazon paid no taxes last year.

Woody Allen sues Amazon for failing to distribute his latest film and other breaches of contract

By David Walsh, 9 February 2019

Amazon’s refusal to distribute Allen’s film and honor its contract with him is a brazen act of censorship that is the direct product of the #MeToo witch hunt.

Lawsuit alleges Amazon caused worker’s death

By Jeff Lusanne, 2 February 2019

The wife of a worker who died at a Joliet, Illinois Amazon warehouse in 2017 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Amazon for the extreme delay of medical treatment that led to his death.

“Amazon is really cold-hearted to its workers”

Injured Amazon worker forced to work to avoid being fired

By Nick Barrickman, 19 January 2019

A mother of two employed at an Amazon facility in east Baltimore contacted the International Amazon Workers Voice to relay her experiences with the web technology giant after being injured on the job.

Ironworker killed at Amazon construction site in California

By Tom Carter, 17 January 2019

Brien Daunt, 45, was killed Saturday at the construction site of a new Amazon fulfillment center near Bakersfield, California.

Amazon hires public relations firm to counter popular hostility to headquarters project in New York City

By Clare Hurley, 11 January 2019

Amazon’s desperate public relations campaign represents an inverse reflection of mounting opposition to the conglomerate’s practices.

South Park episodes dramatize plight of Amazon workers, ridicule Jeff Bezos

By Ed Hightower, 9 January 2019

The two comic episodes, Unfulfilled and Bike Parade, sympathize with rebellious Amazon workers while depicting billionaire Jeff Bezos as a Talosian, an alien from Star Trek bent on the enslavement of humanity.

Amazon worker describes brutal conditions at Tracy, California warehouse during Camp Fire

By Evan Blake, 3 January 2019

Amazon workers in Tracy were forced to continue laboring in the smoke-filled air produced by the fire, making working conditions even worse than usual.

“Amazon ruined my life”

Amazon hired private detectives to spy on injured worker

By Tom Hall, 22 December 2018

Having denied surgery for Michelle Quinones’s wrist injury, Amazon’s workers compensation administrator Sedgwick hired private investigators to spy on and harass Michelle.

Police break up Amazon workers’ protest over oppressive conditions

By Anthony Bertolt, 19 December 2018

In the face of a heavy police presence, Amazon workers demonstrated against productivity requirements at Amazon’s Shakopee, Minnesota fulfillment center.

“I think the whole shipping business is a little corrupt”

Amazon worker wrongfully fired for theft reveals company’s dead-end appeal system

By Nick Barrickman, 18 December 2018

A former employee at Amazon’s BWI-5 facility in Baltimore, Maryland contacted the International Amazon Workers Voice to describe what can only be called a nightmare of corporate red tape at his former employer.

Australian Amazon worker alleges unfair dismissal

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 December 2018

The Sydney worker has claimed he was sacked for joining a union and asking for more hours per week.

Black Friday strikes hit Amazon in Europe

By our reporters, 24 November 2018

Amazon workers launched strikes and protests in Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, France and the UK.

Amazon dictates terms to New York over second headquarters

By Guillaume Garnier, 21 November 2018

The deal between Amazon and the city and state will provide billions to the world’s richest company.

The government’s $4.6 billion handout to Amazon

Why Amazon should be expropriated

By Tom Carter, 17 November 2018

The billions in subsidies granted to Amazon for its new headquarters demonstrate the prostration of the entire political establishment before this massive conglomerate.

Amazon worker dies of heart attack at facility in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

By E.P. Milligan, 14 November 2018

Mike Gellasch, 61, allegedly died because no one could find a working communication device to call for help in time.

Amazon announces new headquarters in metropolitan New York City and Washington D.C.

By Trévon Austin, 14 November 2018

The culmination of Amazon’s year-long pageant is indicative of the immense power of giant transnational corporations and the oligarchs who head them.

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Two workers killed as wall collapses at Baltimore Amazon facility

By E.P. Milligan, 5 November 2018

Basic safety precautions are routinely ignored at Amazon facilities throughout the world.

“It is like a pyramid scheme and we’re the worker ants at the bottom”

Amazon workers in Downriver Michigan speak to SEP candidate Niles Niemuth

By our reporters, 31 October 2018

Niles spoke with Amazon workers about working conditions as well as the Trump administration’s deployment of the military against immigrant workers.

Amazon whistleblower Shannon Allen: Celebrated $15 base pay represents pay cut for some workers

By Tom Carter, 16 October 2018

Amazon workers have reported to the International Amazon Workers Voice that the pay changes have been accompanied by a general “tightening up” of the tyrannical internal regime in the warehouses.

Bonus removal cancels out Amazon’s UK pay rise

By Alice Summers, 13 October 2018

Workers are effectively paying for their own wage increase through the slashing of employee benefits, share and incentive schemes, with some possibly seeing a net loss.

Injured US Amazon workers face “workers compensation” regime rigged in favor of employers

By John Marion and Evan Cohen, 10 October 2018

Injured workers are denied medical treatment and bullied into getting back to work as quickly as possible.

Bernie Sanders covers for Jeff Bezos as fraud of $15 pay raise at Amazon is exposed

By Tom Hall, 6 October 2018

Sanders immediately abandoned his criticism of Jeff Bezos after the company’s cynical publicity stunt, and embraced him as a great reformer.

The fraud of Amazon’s $15 wage

By Eric London, 4 October 2018

The “raise” announced by Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, is a publicity stunt aimed above all at preventing an explosion of the class struggle.

What’s behind Amazon’s plan to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour?

By Jerry White, 3 October 2018

With anger growing over poverty level wages and sweatshop conditions at Amazon, the retail giant and logistics company will implement a small pay increase on November 1.

New Amazon facility in Oregon: Tax cuts for corporation, poverty wages for workers

By Kayla Costa and Emily Edison, 27 September 2018

Local and state representatives of both capitalist parties approved a $213 million tax cut for the internet retail and logistics giant.

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“I’ve been wanting to speak up for a long time. I have nothing to lose”

Another homeless grandmother details nightmarish aftermath of Amazon workplace injury

By Eric London, 21 September 2018

Tammy Edgar says she became homeless after she fell at work while avoiding a heavy machine, which flew off a table at her.

Silicon Valley’s corrupt nexus: War, censorship and inequality

By Andre Damon, 17 September 2018

The appearance of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the Air Force Association’s annual conference embodies the fusion of America’s technology monopolies with the apparatus of state repression.

210 Video: Amazon interview

10 September 2018