My point isn’t so much that the job is demanding (which it is) and that’s a problem, but that at least tough professions like coalmining used to be unionised and had some means to improve pay and conditions in return for their labour. In contrast, Amazon has grown exponentially in an era of low union membership and low regulation, profiting enormously from the creation of poorly paying, exhausting, inflexible, precarious jobs.
For what it’s worth, and although it’s not the point, I used to work as a labourer and I was a good employee at Amazon. I won awards for attendance and productivity while I was there. I can’t prove this is why I was let go, of course — but there’s evidence that Amazon routinely dumps casual staff at a certain point before they become eligible to accrue more benefits. Lots of staff in the UK have reported being fired and rehired like clockwork. It was partly the loss of these benefits I had been working towards that I was cut up about when I was cut loose.