- A mazon’s critics came out in full force on social media in the run-up to Amazon Prime Day, attacking the company and its CEO, Jeff Bezos.
- These consumers urged people not to shop the Prime Day sales and to boycott the retailer for its working environment and tax policies.
- The company has come under increased scrutiny as it has grown at a rapid rate over the past few years.
Many of Amazon‘s harshest critics are taking Prime Day as an opportunity to voice their concerns about the e-commerce giant.
Before Amazon’s technical glitches plagued the beginning of its Prime Day sales, hundreds of consumers took to social media to show their disdain for the retailer, urging customers not to shop there.
For some consumers, Amazon has increasingly become a symbol of everything that is wrong with big corporations in the US – an image that has historically been associated with Walmart. This has intensified in recent years as Amazon has grown and spread its tentacles into new areas of business.
Today, the backlash is mainly centered around the issues of taxes and workers’ rights.
Happy #PrimeDay remember that @amazon employees often recieve less than minimum wage, their delivery van drivers are being forced to piss in bottles to keep productivity up and that @JeffBezos is an evil human being.
Don't give them your money.
— ???????????????? (@PhilFrobisher) July 16, 2018
Happy Amazon Prime Day!
– Jeff Bezos is the richest person in history and 1,430 Amazon employees in Ohio alone qualify for food stamps
– Warehouse employees are forced to work in extremely high temperatures/are docked paid time for bathroom breaks
– The company barely pays taxes
— Julia Claire (@ohJuliatweets) July 16, 2018
President Donald Trump has repeatedly lashed out against the company and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, on Twitter, accusing the company of not paying taxes.
This is true – Amazon pays almost no federal taxes. As Business Insider reported earlier this year, the company uses a variety of tax credits and tax exemptions, which are legal and built into the US tax code, to avoid paying these taxes.
But perhaps the biggest reason for the anti-Amazon campaign stems from recent reporting about working conditions in the company’s warehouses.
In 2016, a journalist went undercover as a worker in an Amazon warehouse in the UK and described how workers were peeing into bottles because they feared that bathroom breaks would take too long and cause them to miss their strict targets.
Several warehouse employees subsequently confirmed this crippling working environment to Business Insider, adding that the constant surveillance and security cameras dotted around the warehouses made employees feel like “robots.”
In a statement sent to Business Insider, Amazon said:
“Amazon is proud to have created over 130,000 new jobs in the last year alone. These are good jobs with highly competitive pay and full benefits. One of the reasons we’ve been able to attract so many people to join us is that our number one priority is to ensure a positive and safe working environment. We use our Connections program to ask associates a question every day about how we can make things even better, we develop new processes and technology to make the roles in our facilities more ergonomic and comfortable for our associates, and we investigate any allegation we are made aware of and fix things that are wrong.”
Amazon workers in Spain and Poland went on strike on Monday to protest against the conditions at its warehouses. Thousands more are expected to do the same in Germany on Tuesday.
“Amazon is a fair and responsible employer and as such we are committed to dialogue, which is an inseparable part of our culture. We are committed to ensuring a fair cooperation with all our employees, including positive working conditions and a caring and inclusive environment,” a spokesperson for Amazon told Business Insider.
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