news·3 min read

Daily Skimm: Amazon, Uvalde, and Planets

A truck with the Amazon Prime logo on it passes by the Amazon fulfillment warehouse at the center of a unionization drive on March 29, 2021 in Bessemer, Alabama.
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Jun 23, 2022

No Prime Solution

The Story

Amazon might have everything from A to Z…but employees

Tell me more. 

The world's largest retailer (outside China) employs over 1 million people in the US. Its labor model prioritizes worker productivity above all else. It's also dealing with a high turnover rate (159% in 2020 compared to 59% in other warehouses that same year). But founder Jeff Bezos has welcomed Amazon’s revolving door saying, long-term employees lead to “mediocrity.” But it might lead to no employees at all. A leaked 2021 memo shows Amazon could run out of people to hire in its warehouses by 2024 if things don’t change.

Why the high turnover?

Because the company is running its employees to the ground. Employees have long complained about unsafe work conditions and feeling constantly watched. That’s because Amazon has a strict attendance policy and productivity quotas — apparently issuing write-ups if employees take too long to do a task. There’s also an overall lack of job security...which can go both ways. Beyoncé knows.

Release ya job, release the time.

Right. And some employees have tried to unionize — something Amazon has repeatedly pushed back on. Before leaving as CEO, Bezos changed his tune on NGAF about workers. Last year, he said Amazon has to do a “better job” and that the company should work to become “Earth’s best employer and Earth’s safest place to work.” Manifesting, amirite?

theSkimm

Amazon is the US’s second-largest private employer. But it doesn’t keep that title if it keeps shipping out workers as quickly as it does products.

And Also...This

Where there are updates…

Uvalde, TX. Yesterday, the city’s school district placed its chief of police on leave. For weeks, authorities have been investigating the police response to the shooting at Robb Elementary School, where a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers. Officials say Chief Pete Arredondo’s response as the on-scene commander during the massacre was delayed. And that his decision to have officers treat the situation in the classroom as a “barricaded subject” rather than an active shooter went against protocol. Arredondo maintains he did not believe he was the officer in charge at that time. Now, a lieutenant will replace him. The decision comes a day after the Texas Department of Public Safety called the police response an “abject failure.” And listed off a number of mistakes, including that the police never checked to see if the classroom door was unlocked.

What lawmakers may or may not pump the brakes on…

Gas prices. Yesterday, President Biden asked Congress to implement a three-month gas tax holiday. If lawmakers sign off, federal taxes on gasoline and diesel would be suspended to help ease prices. But it’s a big 'if,' considering there are few lawmakers on board. Many Republicans are concerned the tax holiday would mean less funding for the Highway Trust Fund. And say it's 'funny weird' that Biden pushed for this idea months before the midterms. Democrats doubt that oil companies will pass on the savings to Americans. On top of that, economists are also skeptical of putting more money in wallets right now since that encourages people to spend...and could make the inflation problem even worse. Biden’s response: “Do it now.”

PS: Gas prices can hurt your wallet. We've got tips to help.

Where people are mourning…

Afghanistan. Early yesterday, a nearly 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck the southeastern part of the country. At least 1,000 people died, and hundreds are injured or trapped under rubble. Now, the Taliban is asking the world to do what they can to help the victims of the earthquake. The UN said it’s “assessing the needs” and is sending help soon. 

Why people are checking their fridge…

Daily Harvest. The company has recalled its French Lentil + Leek Crumbles amid reports that it caused gastrointestinal issues.

What’s top of mind today…

50 years of Title IX. And how it paved the way for women’s sports.

What’s better than stars aligning…

Planets.

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