Amazon’s warehouse conditions aren’t awful, despite numerous reports from employees — or at least that’s what the tech giant’s small, paid Twitter army is attempting to promote.
Amazon is paying a small team of Twitter users to combat the negative publicity the company is receiving on the social media platform about the working conditions in its warehouses.
“So [Amazon] has set up an army of bot accounts, allegedly from workers at various fulfillment centers, whose sole purpose is to jump on tweets critical of their benevolent overlord with the same stale cant about great pay & benefits,” a Twitter user, @bornwithatail_, pointed out.
First reported by TechCrunch on Thursday, all 15 Amazon-affiliated accounts were created in August, have identical structures to their bios, have the Amazon smile photo as their backgrounds, and their names all include “Amazon FC Ambassador” and are followed by a cardboard box emoji.
One of the accounts, “Phil – Amazon FC Ambassador,” responded to a concerned Twitter user who wanted to cancel her Amazon Prime membership after hearing reports of Amazon’s harsh warehouse conditions.
“Hearing about Amazon’s horrific working conditions makes me want to cancel my Prime membership. @JeffBezos can afford to do better,” the Twitter user, @NancyLouWho9, wrote on Aug. 10.
Five and a half hours later, Phil responded writing, “Hi Nancy! I work in an Amazon warehouse in WA and the conditions are not that bad 🙂 Sure, there are issues (as in any WH environ.) but we’re encouraged to call these out to our managers. Employee safety is the number one priority.”
Phil has done that at least 40 times at the time of publication. The Amazon FC Ambassador’s only mission is to do exactly that: respond to criticism on Twitter, hoping to alleviate some of the bad publicity and restore consumer trust.
Amazon’s warehouse conditions have been documented before and made national media attention. The Seattle Times reported on July 2 that some warehouse employees were too afraid to go to the restroom while on duty.
Another reporter, James Bloodworth, went undercover in an Amazon warehouse for six months and compared it to a prison, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported June 21. (RELATED: Amazon Bans ‘Freedom Of Speech’ Gun Book For Violating Content Guidelines)
“I’ve worked in warehouses before, but this was nothing like I had experienced. You don’t have proper breaks — by the time you get to the canteen, you only have 15 or 20 minutes for lunch, in a 10-1/2-hour working day. You don’t have time to eat properly to get a drink,” Bloodworth told Business Insider.
The conditions are apparently so bad that thousands of warehouse workers in Germany, Spain and Poland went on strike July 17, demanding better working conditions during Amazon’s busiest days of the year on “Prime Day,” which is a 36-hour sale starting on July 16, TheDCNF reported.
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