E-commerce giant Amazon is planning to turn its popular two-day delivery in to just one day on most Prime orders. But the question remains if the warehouse workers can handle such a pressure. The company is planning to spend $800 million this spring that will speed up the deliveries for the Prime Members but the planning has sparked a tension between the Amazon executive and the leader of a major workers’ union.
Stuart Appelbaum, is the president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) and said that speeding up deliveries can be dangerous for the employees of the Amazon fulfillment centre. The president of the union added that the workers are already struggling and finding it tough to keep pace with the 200 to 300 orders per hour during a sing 12 hour shift. Appelbaum added, “Increasing fulfillment speeds means they need to hire more workers, under more sustainable speeds that don’t put worker’s lives in jeopardy”.
The RWDSU represents the workers in brick-and-mortar groceries and has advocated for the Amazon workers in the past. It is trying to help them unionize in some parts of the country. The workers of the Amazon warehouse in the United States are not unionized. The union has also criticized the plan by Amazon for a second headquarters in New York City, but that plan was eventually scrapped. Dave Clark, the senior vice president of worldwide operations at Amazon retaliated to remarks made by Appelbaum and accused him of continuing to spout falsehood.
Clark in a statement said, “We appreciate his concern for our associates but his concern is misguided and self-serving.” A spokesperson from the e-commerce giant clarified that their workers are not struggling to maintain their workloads and that their lives are not at stake as they have a very safe environment. It is still unclear if Amazon is planning to add jobs at its fulfillment centres to deal with faster shipments.
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