The Huffington Post has reported that the workers for Amazon.com’s Allentown, Pennsylvania warehouse “are willing contend with working at a brutal pace in dizzying heat so long as it means having a job.”
The Morning Call interviewed 20 former and current employees of the warehouse, and of those spoken with, only one said it was a good place to work. Workers described being reprimanded frequently for lack of productivity and threatened with discharge. They said that employees who were fired were escorted out of the building, and that sight gave incentive for some to work through injury and pain.
The interview said that “during summer heat waves, Amazon arranged to have paramedics parked in ambulances outside, ready to treat any workers who dehydrated or suffered other forms of heat stress…and new applicants were ready to begin work at any time. An emergency room doctor in June called federal regulators to report an ‘unsafe environment’ after he treated several Amazon warehouse workers for heat-related problems.”
The Morning Call sites a down economy for many of the problems, saying that if jobs were less scarce, workers would not tolerate the conditions and low pay, and employers would not be able to get away with the abuse. Many of those interviewed said it was “their worst work experience ever.”
In an emailed statement, Amazon officials told The Morning Call that “the safety and welfare of our employees is our No. 1 priority.”