Jeff Bezos acknowledged in his recent message to shareholders as the CEO of Amazon that the company needs to improve its relationship with its employees. This reversal comes after the multiple criticisms leveled against the company over its working conditions and the attempt to prevent trade unions in the United States A few days ago, a union vote was held at its logistics center in Basmer (Alabama), where the majority of employees (3,215 out of 5,800) voted against the organization in Syndicate, presumably after pressure from multinational companies.
In his letter, the manager indicated that he would bring Amazon’s famed customer obsession to the attention of its employees. “Although the election results were clear and our relations with the employees are strong, It is clear that we must have a better view of how to create value for our workersWe have always wanted to be the most consumer focused company on the planet. We won’t change that, that’s what brought us here, but I’m committed to something else: We will be the best employer on the planet and the best place to work, “he said.
Amazon founder and the world’s richest man, according to Forbes, has rejected allegations that his company has developed a tough work culture in its fulfillment centers. “Sometimes we are accused of treating our employees like robots, and this is not true (…) although we should do a better job for our employees,” he said, admitting that the company has outstanding tasks in improving workers’ conditions. . What’s more, the challenge unleashed in Alabama still has a long way to go.
That said, Bezos, who will step down as CEO later this year Plan to focus on making Amazon repositories more secure, Because it indicates in the letter that 40% of work-related injuries at Amazon have to do with musculoskeletal (MSD), such as sprains or strains from repetitive movements, and occur particularly in new employees.
“We need to find solutions to reduce MSDs for new employees, as many of them may be working in a physical role for the first time,” he said. According to Bezos, the company should Strengthening worker support programsAmong them, WorkingWell, which launched 859,000 employees at 350 locations in North America and Europe in 2020, trained small groups of employees in body mechanics, proactive health and safety.
He also indicated in the letter that it is developing New automated recruitment schedules that use complex algorithms to rotate employees between jobs They use different combinations of muscles and tendons to reduce repetitive movements and help protect employees from potential injury. “This new technology is essential for the job rotation program that we will implement throughout 2021,” he said.
However, the CEO noted that Amazon’s increased focus on early prevention of targeted infections is already yielding results and that from 2019 to 2020, MSDs overall have decreased by 32%. He also said the company It plans to invest more than $ 300 million (more than € 250 million) in security projects, Including an initial $ 66 million to create technologies to help prevent crashes for forklifts and other commercial vehicles.
In the face of recent criticism that Amazon employees have to pee in water bottles because they can’t even go to the bathroom, Bezos assured that “employees can take informal breaks during their shifts to stretch, fetch water, use the bathroom, or talk to a manager, all of that. Without affecting your performance. These breaks are added to the 30-minute lunch and 30-minute break included in your regular schedule. We do not set unreasonable performance goals (…) but if employees are on the right track to miss the goal, their manager talks to them and gives them advice. And the Training“.
Another point that Bezos highlighted is Raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour It was done by the company two and a half years ago. According to a study by UC Berkeley and Brandeis University referred to by the principal, this measure caused a 4.7% increase in average hourly wages among other employees in the same job market.
Besides the business issue, Bezos, who will remain CEO of the multinational company’s board of directors, mentioned that the company It already has 200 million Prime subscribers worldwide, 50 million more than it was at the beginning of 2020. He also highlighted that it employs 1.3 million workers directly (last year alone it employed 500,000 employees) and that 1.9 million SMEs use Amazon platform to sell their products and represent about 60% of retail sales.
Other data that Bezos highlighted was over 100 million Alexa smart home devices connected in the world and how Amazon Web Services ended 2020 with revenues of over 45.3 billion. The company’s profits in 2020 were $ 21.3 billion, nearly double that of 2019.