Friday, January 17, 2014

Shocking Quote of the Day

January 16, 2014
Time: How Amazon Crushed the Union Movement

Although Amazon has a high-tech image, blue-collar employees do most of the work. Invariably, they earn much less than high-paid computer programmers.

On the one hand, this is absolutely shocking. Who would have guessed that high-paid white-collar employees invariably earn more than low-paid blue-collar employees? Time hasn't shocked me this much since they declared my snowboard to be a fad in the 1980s. I believe it was doomed to go the way of the hula hoop if memory serves. Oh how I laughed over that one at the time.

News outlets have detailed everything from the exhausting nature of warehouse work (employees can walk as much as 15 miles daily) to ambulances waiting outside a facility to collect workers who overheated because of a lack of air conditioning.

On the other hand, that would definitely suck (pardon my language). I've walked a lot of miles in recent years and anything over 7 miles is risking a blister or two. I can't imagine doing it every day. The thought of an ambulance waiting for me after a long shift is icing on the cake. I can definitely empathize with the frustration.

Look at the Tesla factory - what's the worker to robotic arm ratio in that factory? - polarbear429 (in the comments)

And on that third hand, the more the poorest among us are paid the sooner their jobs will be replaced by automation. Talk about a lose-lose situation for the workers. There is no backup plan once the jobs are permanently gone either, other than to pretend they will all miraculously find work elsewhere. As a side note, the more Amazon and other automated online retailers sell, the less brick and mortar retailers can sell. There are potentially 15 million retail jobs at stake here, and when they go they will no doubt take others with them. Sigh.

This post inspired by Fritz_O who pointed out (in the comments found here) that the Amazon workers opted not to unionize.


dearieme said...

Re Amazon and our click-and-collect adventure: one real beauty of c-&-c turned out to be that my wife could open the box and inspect the item there and then. So not only could she see that it was exactly what she'd asked for and in good condition, she could check that a potentially irksome feature that she'd been warned about wasn't irksome at all.

We'll stick to Amazon for books, but we're now c-&-c fans too.

Stagflationary Mark said...


There's certainly something to be said for picking it up in person.

I remember being at a friend's house back in my college days at a time a package was delivered.

It was a clock in a box. Tthe delivery person said (paraphrased from memory), "I think it might be broken."

Yeah, I think we pretty much all agreed that it probably was. The broken glass symphonic sounds as the package was moved were a dead giveaway, lol.