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Amazon warehouse working conditions savaged by the RWDSU



Amazon workers warehouse
warehouse working conditions were criticized by the


  • Amazon’s employment practices have been labelled
    “deadly and dehumanizing” in a report by a New York labor
  • The report also criticizes Amazon’s anti-union stance,
    the destruction of brick-and-mortar stores, and its history of
    facilitating the sale of white supremacist products.
  • It represents a hostile welcome for Amazon after it
    announced this month that Long Island, New York City, will be
    the home of its HQ2 headquarters, along with Virginia.

A New York labor union has published
a damning report on Amazon
, just as the company prepares to
move into New York City under its HQ2 headquarters plan.

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)
published the report on Wednesday, honing in on Amazon’s “deadly
and dehumanizing employment practices” in warehouses and its
anti-union activities

The RWDSU also criticized the destruction of brick-and-mortar
retailers, and Amazon’s record of
facilitating the sale of racist and white supremacist

The 13-page RWDSU report was mainly drawn from information
already in the public domain, including previous press coverage
and other assessments of Amazon working conditions.

The union pointed to what it sees as a pattern of preventable
deaths at Amazon warehouses, citing a National Council for
Occupational Safety and Health investigation which found seven
people had died working in fulfilment centers.

It also made reference to
a New York Times piece from 2011,
which reported that during
a heatwave, Amazon paid to have ambulances stationed outside a
Pennsylvania warehouse.

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It also drew on reports from the UK, in which
undercover journalist James Bloodworth said he found a bottle of
, as workers feared they would be punished if they took
a bathroom break.

The union also criticized Amazon’s anti-union efforts, referring
a training video obtained by Gizmodo
which gave managers tips
for spotting “warning signs” that workers may be starting to

Amazon revealed earlier this month that
it would split its new HQ2 headquarters between Long Island, New
York City, and Virginia
. The announcement has already drawn
some backlash from New Yorkers, some of whom
stormed an Amazon store in protest on Monday

Amazon declined to comment on the RWDSU report, but did pour
scorn on Bloodworth’s undercover reporting. “This is a tired
narrative created to sell a book and despite his negative
experience and views on the company, Bloodworth found no issues
selling on Amazon,” a spokeswoman said.

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