You’ve seen it — Amazon is trying to “right the ship” in their ongoing PR catastrophe that they’ve ensued over the last five years. Now that the public is well aware of their immoral business practices, they’re still hiding those, but now are convincing the public that they actually care about their workers.
Just this month, CNBC reported that Amazon uses an app called “Mentor” to track their drivers and help keep them safe on the road. Well, anyone who has ever used the app will tell you a different story.
Amazon has equipped delivery vans with AI equipment and required delivery drivers to use an app that scores how they drive. That app is littered with errors, as drivers will explain. The app doesn’t recognize the drivers’ regular route and will flag a routine stop as “distracted driving.”
“Every time I said I’m at the stop, I got dinged,” Adrienne Williams, who drove for Amazon until last July, said in an interview. “And that is 150 stops in a day, so I got dinged at least 150 times a day.”
As the CNBC report shows, a drivers’ score could go from the 700s-800s all the way down to around 400.
The app Amazon uses is so littered with bugs and technical glitches that drivers have actually figured ways around it to preserve their score and “satisfy” the app. Drivers should be more focused on actually driving safely rather than trying to prove to an app that their driving is safe.
It’s an invasive nightmare.
Then there’s the ads and commercials.
Amazon’s current advertising and marketing campaigns are focused on showing the world that the tech giant actually cares about employees.
On Prime Day in 2018, Amazon workers in the U.S. protested harsh working conditions led by the employer. Some of those were directly outside of the Shakopee, MN factory. To curb public opinion, then-Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos “donated” $2 billion to homeless shelters in Minneapolis.
Amazon tries to convince us that they have good culture, but the average tenure at the company is less than one year. This New York Times piece from 2015 describes Amazon’s workplace culture as “bruising.” The New York Post wrote about an Amazon factory worker’s “hellish” workday.
But if you listen to the radio, Amazon tells a different story. They suddenly think minimum wage should be raised across the board, to $15 per hour. Suddenly, they offer great perks for employees. Out of nowhere, people “love working for us.”
The lines do not add up.
This advertisement in the New York Times shows Amazon arguing for a $15 minimum wage. What they don’t tell you is how they require employees to work criminal hours, between 55 and 60 per week. No wonder the average tenure of an employee is so low.
Here’s Amazon, calling their delivery drivers “heroes.” Yet they constantly track them using AI technology. Factory workers are required to wear a wristband that tracks their motions at each passing second of every day.
I wouldn’t work at Amazon for $50 an hour, let alone $15.
Amazon’s culture won’t be magically “fixed” with a few ads. Their culture is symbolic of what their company actually is: hasty and taking advantage of the most vulnerable in our society. Call it what you want, but they don’t care in the slightest whether or not their workers live, or die.