90 Miles From Tyranny : DEMOCRACY DIES IN AMAZON’S WAREHOUSES

Friday, June 22, 2018

DEMOCRACY DIES IN AMAZON’S WAREHOUSES

The Washington Post, at least since its latest rebrand in February 2017, prides itself on supposedly illuminating the threats and dangers to American democracy and the nation’s values. While in the Trump era, WaPo’s reporters, columnists and editors have generally agreed that the man in the White House himself represents the most dire of threats.

Regardless of the accuracy of such a judgement, it is one a newspaper can hold and still remain honest and accurate. If that same paper has declared itself such an arbiter of the things threatening the country’s foundations, one would expect it to investigate all the controversies facing all facets of American society.

In the case of WaPo’s coverage, there exists one growing controversy that has remained conspicuously uncovered: the conditions of Amazon’s workplace. (RELATED: Trump Wants Washington Post To Register As A Lobbyist For Amazon)

Such conditions have been covered extensively in the mainstream press. A number of Amazon’s warehouse workforce has long complained about abusive conditions, with one reporter who went undercover as a warehouse worker for six months comparing it to a stint in prison.

“I’ve worked in warehouses before, but this was nothing like I had experienced. You don’t have proper breaks — by the time you get to the canteen, you only have 15 or 20 minutes for lunch, in a 10-1/2-hour working day. You don’t have time to eat properly to get a drink,” the writer, James Bloodworth, told Business Insider.

A series of features in Pennsylvania’s The Morning Call outlines other disturbing conditions faced by Amazon workers at a Breinigsville warehouse.
After a fire alarm went off during a nightshift in November 2010, employees were locked outside in 20-degree temperatures, with many wearing nothing but T-shirts and shorts.
When a disabled employee asked to go inside, where warehouse managers were at the time, his request was denied “and he was forced to remain outside without a coat for about three hours,” the paper said.

The next day, that same employee had to leave work in an ambulance.

Normally, such an omission of horror stories would not necessarily raise eyebrows. After all, Amazon might be one of the largest companies in the world, but the paper has routinely...

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