The shady business practices of Amazon
October 1, 2018
Filed under Opinion
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Amazon is big. Like really big. It has played a key role in the innovation and popularization of online shopping. But as large as the company is, they don’t exactly have a lot of fans. In fact, they are in large part disliked or even hated by many. For those who hate Amazon, most of their hatred seeps from their policies: they are known for having some shady business practices, such as their subpar pay and working conditions for their employees.
As far as employees go, Amazon has quite the negative reputation. There have been numerous reports, like the expose by Mother Jones or the article from an undercover reporter for the UK paper The Mirror that have talked about the many terrible things Amazon employees are subjected to. Some examples are timed bathroom breaks, below zero temperatures in warehouses and nonstop surveillance. On top of that, Amazon has a profoundly large pay discrepancy between its high and low ranking employees. The median pay for an Amazon employee was $28,446 in 2017. In comparison, CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos made the average employee in about 8.93 seconds. Surely the richest man in the world can afford to pay his employees a little more, considering one out every three Amazon workers in Arizona are on some form of government public assistance.
Pay isn’t the only issue, though. Amazon also has some shady practices going on. According to the Wall Street Journal, some intermediary companies that sell their products on Amazon have been exposed to offering employees bribes to erase negative reviews from their products. Sellers can even contact brokers to get proprietary information on sales volume and other data relating to shopper’s habits. Amazon’s own policies specifically prohibit employees from disclosing company data and diagnostics but for the right price, what underpaid employee wouldn’t take some extra cash?
Being as big and financially successful as it is, it is likely that Amazon isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, beginning September of this year they became the second US company, after Apple, to be worth a trillion dollars- that’s twelve zeros. One can only hope, though, that a company as influential and as massive as Amazon can still look out for their employees and keep their internal affairs clean. One can only hope that this is not only the beginning of their shady practices.