Amazon Has A Creepy Online Community Of Warehouse Staff Defending ‘Brutal Working Conditions’

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Written by Ann Brown

 

Amazon is taking propaganda to another level, hiring workers to say good things about itself on Twitter.

These “ambassadors” tweet full-time about how happy they are to work at Amazon.

The tweets are part of Amazon’s plan to fight back against negative headlines and online chatter about poor working conditions at its warehouses, the Washington Post reported:

“Workplace experts say negative tweets can be a turnoff to potential employees who have more options during a strong economy. And Amazon will soon need to hire thousands of temporary warehouse workers to pack boxes during the hectic holiday shopping season.”

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In this Nov. 16, 2009 photo, Stephen Guymon, left, of Twin Falls, Idaho, and Sanferd Glasses, of Kayenta, Ariz., separate packed boxes for final shipping inside the 800,000 sq. ft. Amazon.com warehouse in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

“It’s important that we do a good job of educating people about the actual environment inside our fulfillment centers,” Amazon said.

Amazon won’t say how many workers it has tweeting, but all of the “ambassadors” have Twitter accounts that look alike. “Every single account has a Twitter bio in the exact same format: (Job title) @ (Warehouse Location). (Length of service) Amazonian. (List of things they like outside of work). And all of their accounts link out to a website for Amazon warehouse tours,” the Sun reported.

These aren’t your normal Twitter accounts. “They were created in August and have Amazon’s smile logo at the top of their pages; some have fewer than 20 followers. They clearly state that they are ambassadors for Amazon, but list only their first names,” the Washington Post reported.

Amazon has many reasons for making this move. The company has been harshly criticized for working conditions at its factories. Amazon workers have also spoken out against the company for providing its facial recognition technology to the U.S. government.

The median pay for an Amazon employee last year was $28,446, according to government filings, which includes full-time, part-time and temporary workers, the Washington Post reported:

“Pay at Amazon’s warehouses varies by location, according to its job postings. Its starting pay is $10 an hour at a warehouse in Austin, Texas, and $13.50 an hour in Robbinsville, New Jersey.”

Compare this to what the CEO, Jeff Bezos, takes home in total compensation — nearly $1.7 million. And Amazon is worth more than $150 billion. There have been numerous reports about Amazon workers having to rely on food stamps to make ends meet.

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In this Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017, photo, a woman clocks out at the end of her shift at the Amazon Fulfillment center in Robbinsville Township, N.J. Amazon is holding a giant job fair Wednesday, Aug. 2, and plans to make thousands of job offers on the spot at nearly a dozen U.S. warehouses. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

But the Amazon ambassadors don’t seem to be too worried about wages. One tweeted: “As an Amazon employee, I can tell you that I would never feel resentful about Mr. Bezos.”

Another Amazon ambassador named Shaye tweeted: “We receive good pay and a generous benefits package. Lots of ops to move up into even higher paying jobs too.”

While some workers have complained about brutal work conditions such as the lack of bathroom breaks and having to pee into bottles, the ambassadors talk about all the “benefits” Amazon bestows on them.

“No peeing in bottles here,” tweeted Jeremy, a Texas-based FC Ambassador. “We like to use the good old-fashioned restrooms.”

So are these Amazon workers really tweeting their own opinions, or using a script provided to them by Amazon? No one seems to know and Amazon isn’t telling.