I read a magazine article last night that had such an impact on me I'm determined to alter my shopping habits. The article was written by a woman who worked briefly for a temp staffing agency that provides workers for a giant warehouse that assembles and ships orders placed online. I believe, though not absolutely sure, that Amazon has its own warehouse/shipping facilities, but they might also use other such companies especially for non-book purchases.
The rules for holding these jobs requires 12+ hour days, impossible to meet goals that require people to run on concrete floors to assemble merchandise in the time allowed by the management, multiple safety violations and equipment malfunction, and much more. For this, complaining could get a person fired, but there are many reasons to be fired. One man was fired because he took the day off that his wife gave birth to their child. He had to go through the whole application process again to be re-hired.
The article referred to workampers who take these jobs especially during the Christmas to supplement their retirement income. I remember a few years ago reading Rene's blog, a woman who worked for Amazon and wrote of unbelievably bad treatment during the weeks she was employed. There is also a blogging couple on my list of blogs I read who recently worked for Amazon, and while they weren't as explicit about the conditions as Rene was, the story came through for anyone who is aware of the working conditions.
I really prefer to buy local anyway, and to see and touch the merchandise to examine what I am buying, but now I am even more determined to avoid contributing to companies who profit at the expense of the workers so necessary to the success of the companies. We are appalled when we hear of inhuman conditions in the sweatshops of the third world; we disapprove of unsafe and unfair conditions in China, but we have just as bad in our midst, and I for one, am not going to support this. It just isn't worth violating my own sense of justice to save a few cents or even a few dollars.
The sun is out this morning and it looks like a beautiful day ahead. The weather channel reports of snow in my favorite part of the world, the VA/NC/KY/TN area. I almost wish I had the opportunity to enjoy some snow this winter but it probably won't happen. Maybe next year.
21 hours ago