Amazon hired 175,000 seasonal workers during the pandemic, but won't disclose attrition rates
|Michael Sainato||May 26|| 1|
In March, Amazon announced plans to hire 100,000 additional workers to meet surges in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. The following month, Amazon announced plans to hire an additional 75,000 workers.
Amazon won’t disclose the attrition rates of these new hires (the most recently available data, from 2017, shows Amazon warehouses in California had a 100.9 percent attrition rate according to a March 2020 report conducted by the National Employment Law Project). Nor will Amazon acknowledge the negative impacts of bringing in 175k new employees on current employees, and the desperation and exploitation these new workers experience in starting a new job at Amazon during a pandemic.
Channel Cryer started working at Amazon Air Station in Riverside, California once the economic shutdowns due to COVID 19 began and she lost her job, and the unemployment benefits offered at the time, a max of $450 per week, weren’t enough to make ends meet.
She quit recently after receiving notification at least two workers tested positive for coronavirus at the site.
“They did not tell us on which shift but all the shifts overlap so it’s a strong possibility that anyone working on these individuals shifts were exposed,” said Cryer. “Basically we were told that they cleaned the facility so unless you “feel” sick stay home. But that’s not how covid works because we might not have symptoms but could still be contagious.”
She also explained though safety procedures before shifts begin are implemented, social distancing is impossible during work shifts and productivity rates are prioritized.
“They can’t keep us apart. They talk about it when the Safety team is there but we have to make rate so they turn a blind eye to us being closer than 6 feet,” added Cryer. “The seasonal employees aren’t even making it through the first week some of them. They are also ending hazard pay even though there are clear hazards. I’m self quarantining to be safe but there are people who are still going to work and most likely will get infected because of Amazon.”