Thursday, February 9, 2023

Exclusive: Most Amazon workers in Spain admit the company’s “excessive” hypervigilance is affecting their mental health

More than half of Amazon employees believe the e-commerce giant’s surveillance system has negatively affected their physical and mental health. they are the conclusions of Largest survey of company employeesWho has conducted the Jarrow Insight survey commissioned by UNI Global Union.

As such, 51% of those surveyed believe that the e-commerce giant’s monitoring of their work performance has had a negative impact on their physical health. 57% employees It also confirms that such monitoring This has affected his mental health.

Business Insider Spain The study had exclusive access to data that confirms this in the 8 countries in which the sample was collected: USA, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Spain and Australia. Nearly 2,000 Amazon employees around the world, including warehouse workers, drivers and office workers, responded to the survey.

In Spain, 68% of those surveyed -100 people, 0.5% of the national workforce of 20,000 people by mid-2022- Believes Amazon’s Oversight of Its Work Is “Excessive” and 56% “agree” or “strongly agree” with the statement: “Amazon’s monitoring of my performance has had a negative impact on my mental health.”

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Only American employees—774 responses—perform better than Spaniards in these terms: 68.4% of them consider Amazon’s surveillance excessive. 58.3% of those surveyed in Poland feel the same way about supervision, compared to 57% in Australia, 59.5% in the United Kingdom, 51.5% in France, 45.3% in Italy and 40.9% in Germany.

Of the sample, 1,614 workers are warehouse workers, 248 are delivery drivers and 168 are office workers. By country, there are 774 American, 248 British, 269 Italian, 227 French, 171 German, 168 Polish, 100 Spanish and 35 Australian.

To collect the sample, Jarrow Insight contacted unions locally and offered them forms through social media, so the responses came from people who identified themselves as Amazon employees. In addition to numerical data, The UNI Global Report that this outlet accessed includes testimonials.

Jarrow Insight is a cooperative that conducts polling studies for social and union purposes. For its part, an Amazon spokesperson has defended its Survey results are “biased,” “statistically irrelevant” And our own employees contradict what we are told directly.”

“In the most recent internal surveys available to us – conducted randomly and anonymously – almost 9 out of 10 employees say they feel safe at work and are valued by their team,” stresses this spokesperson of the multinational. Leaders do everything to ensure their safety.”

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The main results of the study revealed that employees of MNCs feel “stressed, pressured, anxious, slaves, robots and without confidence”.

Globally, 59% of employees believe surveillance is excessive, 53% fear losing their jobs as a result of surveillance techniques, and 58% believe Amazon does not explain the data it collects. How does it use the data collected? 78% of drivers believe that meeting company objectives is difficult and this affects their health the most.

As a result of the results, Christy Hoffman, Secretary General of UNI Global, Andy takes a direct hit at the corporation run by Jesse. Amazon can’t look away when your workers around the world say so Going to work they feel sick and anxious.

The same association had already collected in another report published last year that Amazon had received to date 4,000 million euros in public subsidies.

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Much of Amazon’s surveillance and monitoring of its employees is done through technology. But the same techniques don’t apply to drivers as to office workers. warehouse workers highlighted more often in their answers handheld reader that they use to read barcodes, identity card that they wear around their neck, and the screen at the workstation.

Delivery drivers, for their part, highlight the apps they are monitored with, GPS devices—which show routes to the contractors operating these parcel services—or cameras inside the vehicles. “If your score is low in the Mentor app, they threaten to penalize you”, warns one Spanish driver surveyed.

Finally, the office workers got the most attention programs that track activity —Amazon monitors its employees based on their open work program hours—, chime —An internal corporate communication platform— and email. “Taking away my chime position drives my manager mad.”

“To them we are not people, we are completely replaceable cogs in their machinery”

El Ceo De Amazon, Andy Jessie.

UNI Global, analyzing the responses, concluded that there is a “clear picture” across all countries and the role that Amazon workers play. that’s what most of them think Its performance controls are “excessive and opaque”.That the company’s expectations are “unrealistic” and that trying to meet them negatively affects your health.

“Despite using state-of-the-art techniques and state-of-the-art facilities, research has shown that Injury rates in Amazon warehouses are much higher than average of the field. The survey results highlight this apparent contradiction”, they reveal from the union organization.

“Testimonials indicate that it is often state-of-the-art technology that drives workers to work harder and faster at the expense of their physical and mental health.” A “high human cost” corporate culture, which one employee characterizes with these words: “To them we are not people, but replaceable gears in their machinery.”

Employees with irritable bowel syndrome who have to spend more time in the bathroom report conflicts with company policies. Other professionals report a complete lack of positive reinforcement. described corporate culture lack of basic empathy, According to UNI Global, “which is reflected in the unforgiving, non-human algorithms that form its foundation.”

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Amazon Warehouse

A warehouse worker in Spain wonders “how they could come” to ask him why he is “slow” when one day “it’s worse than usual” if it’s always “super nice”. “They rarely sting,” he laments. Another American colleague lamented that he was fined “the day he returned” after losing his son.

“When the indexes are reached, there is no one to congratulate you. On the other hand, on a day when you are tired and your performance is not at its maximum, they are the first to come to you to ask for an explanation”, sums up a French activist.

These indices are general ratings of measurable objectives, which are measured with the instruments mentioned above. Survey results show that for the majority of employees at the e-commerce giant, These goals are “difficult or very difficult” to achieve. This is believed by 54.2% of the people involved in the survey.

“The computer program only counts the number of packages shipped, not equipment breakdowns, incorrect box sizes or job replacements,” says an American warehouse worker. “There’s no reason the camera should be pointed directly at me all day,” says one of his colleagues in the delivery fleet.

Monitoring is full, but security backs off

For those surveyed, security is low on the priority list at the Jeff Bezos-founded company. Productivity is the most important thing. ,They won’t switch to security unless someone is seriously injured. They’ll let this happen several times before making changes. The first injured will be blamed,” laments an American warehouse worker.

This is reflected in some of the evidence collected by the association in the United Kingdom or the US. A warehouse worker developed tendinitis because he was forced to walk too fast on his shift. he was fired. A driver in America was punished for this Picking up his inhaler when he was having an asthma attack on the freeway.

“I had wrist surgery twice and when I returned to work I was bullied for not reaching my goals, they commented on me every day and I had to explain why I couldn’t despite medical recommendations . Now I’m down again because the carpal tunnel is back and has spread to entrap the nerve at the elbow,” says a British warehouse worker.

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The macro survey by UNI Global, a global federation of service unions with affiliates in 150 countries and representing nearly 20 million employees, once again whitewashed the difficult working conditions of Amazon employees worldwide.

Last year, television program Rescued Made a report on these conditions in Amazon Spain. Testimonials collected by the program are Very similar to the one launched by UNI Global in its studio.

At the end of 2022, Amazon announced the first downsizing in its history with more than 10,000 layoffs. The union has representation in several warehouses in Spain. In the US, these union organizations have taken longer to appear, but even in 2022 the company’s various distribution points in the US country voted for the creation of these organizations.

For its part, Amazon’s opposition to unions is notorious. In 2020 it emerged that the multinational company had obtained the services of an espionage firm to detect and contain unionization efforts of its employees at various warehouses around the world. The matter reached Brussels.

The unions have not stood quietly and last year it was revealed some of the techniques with which they subsequently managed to denounce and demonstrate some of the company’s labor practices. Among their methods: drones and secret agents.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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