Perhaps there's some unfathomable reverse psychology thing going on here, by the Financial Times, or perhaps they're just trying to appear balanced. I don't know. But why is an overtly capitalist newspaper publishing a long article about (perceived) poor worker conditions in Amazon's UK warehouses?
Maybe they're just trying to drum up readership and links by being a little controversial?
I don't know.
Here's my summary:
- Amazon setup one of their huge warehouses in a place with high unemployment.
- They created a few hundred permie jobs and a large number of temporary jobs.
- Some of the new employees were happy - one guy went from receiving £54 each week in benefits to earning £220 in wages.
- Others weren't so happy because it's hard work and they got blisters while wearing in their new safety boots.
- The work is often unchallenging and could be done by a robot, except that robots can't handle the odd shaped packages.
I know some people will read the article and be angry that the coal mines were all closed down and that some people only get paid just a little more than minimum wage to do manual labour … but the tone of the article annoys me. It feels contrived, as if the author is trying to create controversy by confusing hard work with "sweat shop" conditions.
That said, it's an interesting article.