Amazon.com Inc.’s move toward one-day free shipping may be good news for Prime subscribers, but not necessarily for those who work in Amazon’s warehouses.
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, a longtime critic of Amazon’s workplace practices and a backer of unionization at Amazon warehouses, said in a statement Friday that it worries the increased workload could be bad for fulfillment-center employees.
“With two-day Prime shipping, Amazon fulfillment workers currently face speeds of 200-300 orders per hour in 12-hour shifts. They struggle already to maintain that pace,” RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum said. “If Amazon plans to effectively double the speed, it must also address existing workforce needs and ensure its workers are safe. Increasing fulfillment speeds means they need to hire more workers, under more sustainable speeds that don’t put workers’ lives in jeopardy.”