he is Amazon About to run out of workers? According to a leaked internal memo, the retail logistics company fears this.
“If we continue business as usual, Amazon will exhaust the available labor supply in the US network by 2024,” the research, first mentioned By Recode, Male.
Amazon is right to worry — its employee turnover is astronomical. Before the pandemic, Amazon was losing about 3% of its workforce weekly or 150% annually. By contrast, the Average annual turnover In transportation, warehousing and utilities it was 49% in 2021 and in retail it was 64.6%, less than half of Amazon’s sales.
Even Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is concerned. Bezos originally welcomed high turnover, fearing that long-term employees would slack and cause a “March to Intermediate Level”. But in his final message to shareholders as CEO last year, Bezos said the company should “do a better job” for its employees. Amazon will be committed to being the “best employer on earth and the safest place to work on earth”, he wrote.
The reason for Bezos’ change was partly due to a flurry of union efforts in the company’s warehouses. But Amazon also faces the problem of scale. As the second largest private employer in the United States, it is now struggling to replace all the workers it has lost.
Workers and labor groups have long criticized Amazon’s working conditions and high employee turnover amid rising infection rates.
Matt Littrell, 22, an Amazon picker in Campbellsville, Kentucky, who has been since early 2021 trying to organize a union in the warehouse, said Amazon’s hiring practices, productivity quotas, attendance policies and uneven enforcement of rules contribute to the job shortage and security that drives Amazon’s high turnover.
One problem is Amazon’s “important leave” meter, he said, in which Amazon monitors employee productivity and will issue write-ups, which can lead to terminations if they accumulate too much.
“Every one of those instances where it took you so long to find an item that counted against me, and it all gets added up and then they calculate that as your total vacation time. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing your job — you weren’t meeting expectations,” Littrell said.
Littrell said he walks 15 miles or more on each college shift because his warehouses don’t have robotics technology where items are brought to collectors. He noted that containers in which items are stored are often overfilled, which can cause injuries or make items more difficult to find, making it more difficult to meet productivity quotas.
If an Amazon worker receives a lot of attendance fines, he goes negative on timeThey face automatic termination if they cannot get an excuse from the right management.
“You have to go through the bureaucracy of a big company to get housing,” Littrell said. “Even though they have all these miserable metrics to track you down, what it boils down to is that if you really want Amazon to go and find a clue, you have to fight for it like your own guild store host, you have to fight them every step of the way. And for a lot of people who contribute to fatigue.”
Zaki Kaddoura, a worker at Amazon’s warehouse JFK8 in Staten Island, New York, and a member of the Amazon Workers Union, said productivity quotas were a driving factor in Amazon’s high employee turnover. He also cited having to handle heavy objects, his inability to find space in storage bins, and the denial of accommodation for workers.
“Imagine that you do it for 10 hours a day, every work day, while someone pressures you to reach these goals,” Kaddoura said. “I think these quotas should be recommended, not obligated.”
a Report Based on an analysis of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha) data released by the Strategic Regulation Center in April 2022, it found that Amazon’s critical injury rate in 2021 was 6.8 per 100 workers, more than double the industry average of 3.3 per 100 workers. Storage and 20% increase over the previous year.
With the unemployment rate near its lowest level in 50 years, Amazon is struggling to fill all the jobs it needs. According to the memo, written in mid-2021, the company was at risk of depleting its entire available pool of labor in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area by the end of that year, and in the Inland Empire in California by the end of the year. 2022.
An Amazon spokesperson said regarding the research notes, “There are many draft documents written on many topics across the company that are used to test assumptions and consider different potential scenarios, but are not then escalated or used to make decisions. This was one of them. It does not Represents the actual situation, and we continue to hire well in Phoenix, the Inland Empire, and across the country.”