In interviews with FRONTLINE for a new documentary, former Amazon employees who worked in the company’s fulfillment centers describe a work environment in which they felt pressured to pick and pack items at productivity rates they say are “unrealistic.”
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Their stories echoed the more than 50 interviews FRONTLINE conducted with similar workers across the country.
“We’re not treated as human beings, we’re not even treated as robots. We’re treated as part of the data stream,” one former employee says in the above scene from “Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos.”
Also in this scene, Jeff Wilke, one of two CEOs under Bezos, strongly defends the company’s treatment of workers and its commitment to safety. He stresses that the company has become an industry leader in training its workforce for career advancement, and says its hourly workers — for whom Amazon’s minimum wage is double the federal standard — are offered the same benefits Amazon executives receive.
“These are great jobs,” he says.
For the full story, watch “Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos” in full starting Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 9/8c on PBS and online: https://to.pbs.org/2SH9uSj
FRONTLINE is streaming more than 200 documentaries online, for free, here: http://to.pbs.org/hxRvQP
Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation, the Park Foundation, The John and Helen Glessner Family Trust, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.