Amazon’s labor practices are evil: Bezos must be defeated

A+conveyer+belt+moves+Amazon+packages+through+one+of+its+locations.+The+company+is+currently+receiving+criticism+for+its+working+conditions.+

Photo Courtesy of ohsoline.com

A conveyer belt moves Amazon packages through one of its locations. The company is currently receiving criticism for its working conditions.

Jeff Thomas, Features Editor

Amazon’s working conditions are unacceptable. The richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, must be defeated by unionizing workers.

Bezos’ wealth exploded by roughly $75 billion in 2020 due in large part to the enormous upward transfer of wealth President Trump signed into law with the CARES ACT. Despite having all this new cash on hand, Bezos and Amazon can’t seem to find it in themselves to provide anything better than sub-human working conditions for the employees that power Amazon.

There’s been rumblings of Amazon’s morally bankrupt approach to working conditions in their warehouses for years. In recent weeks, a fiercely contested battle by Amazon workers trying to unionize in Alabama has pulled more of Amazon’s skeletons out of the closet.

What has come to light is Amazon’s toxic work environment where employees are threatened with losing their jobs for having the audacity to try and take their government-mandated lunch breaks or wanting to be able to use the restroom. 

In addition to documented incidents of workers being pushed dangerously past exhaustion and the suppression of information concerning COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses, it has now been confirmed that Amazon delivery drivers are having to urinate in bottles and defecate in bags to avoid retaliation from management for taking rest breaks.

Regardless of what Bezos’ army of pee-bottle-concealing public relations officials would have you believe, it is unacceptable that in the United States of America, citizens are being stripped of their dignity by employers. 

Unfortunately, the dehumanization and exploitation of workers by cold-hard capitalists like Bezos is nothing new. In fact, work conditions have been trending in the wrong direction for decades now in this country.

With the advent of Ronald Reagan’s voodoo trickle down economics, middle class and working Americans have seen $50 trillion of their wealth stolen by the wealthiest 1% in the past 45 years. In our system, money is power, and workers have lost an incredible amount of their leverage, thus the decrease in working conditions and employee benefits over the last several decades. 

This looting of the U.S. by corporations and ultra-wealthy individuals has coincided with a weakened labor movement. The reality is, union membership has drastically declined in recent decades. More so than just allowing for stagnant wages and a loss of benefits, the weakened collective voice of workers in this country has left the door open for people like Bezos to bring back some of the worse tenets of unfettered capitalism.

It was not all that long ago that child laborers were dying in mines and women were burning to death in textile factories in this country. If it wasn’t for the labor movement, that would still be our reality today. 

Prior generations of Americans fought and died to force dangerous working conditions and exploitation of workers out of the U.S., though those inhumane practices never entirely disappeared. When capitalists couldn’t get away with mistreating human beings here in the states, corporations exported their cruelty to countries without labor laws.

This phenomenon is why sweatshops exist, it’s why there’s people enslaved on fishing barges, it’s why the smart phone industry is being fueled by factories where windows are barred so workers can’t even escape by suicide. This degradation of humanity is par for the course under global capitalism. Corporations know no morality. They are machines designed to produce money, and they will take whatever they are allowed to in order to make more of it.

What we’re seeing with the expansion of technology and a new generation of capitalists like Bezos and Elon Musk, is a return to unfettered capitalism in this country. The longer hours, lower wages and inhumane working conditions are all signs that America needs a renewed labor movement to avoid slipping back into the misery of our dark past.

The fact that Bezos is getting “pissed off” and forcing his social media team to pick fights with popular left-leaning senators like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren for standing up in favor of his mistreated employees should tell you everything you need to know about Bezos’ business mentality.

People like Bezos will take everything they can while contributing nothing. The billionaire class will continue to strip mine this country — and the rest of the world — if they’re allowed to. 

It is urgently important the Amazon employees in Alabama succeed in their quest to unionize. Organized labor is the only way middle class and working Americans can protect themselves from abusers like Amazon. If the American people don’t stand up collectively, they will continue getting steamrolled.