Feb 2019 | ‘They resent the fact I’m not a robot’

Date: 27 Feb 2019

Source: ABC

As workers walk into an enormous, nondescript warehouse on the outskirts of Melbourne, they pass a sign reading “Amazon fulfillment”.

Inside, they’re met with a wall of haphazardly arranged slogans, mottos they’re expected to live by here: Customer Obsession. Think Big. Earn Trust.

Then they front security and a metal detector. Staff need to make sure they have no electronic devices with them and they can’t wear anything sold by Amazon Australia. Anti-theft measures.

Instead, workers have told ABC News:

  • the workplace is built around a culture of fear where their performance is timed to the second;
  • they are expected to constantly work at ‘Amazon pace’, described as somewhere between walking and jogging;
  • high-pressure targets make them feel like they can’t go to the toilet and sometimes push them to cut safety corners;
  • they can be sent home early without being paid for the rest of their shift when orders are completed; and
  • everyone is employed as a casual and constantly anxious about whether they’ll get another shift.