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Amazon
April 12th, 2017 by Gao

Working for Amazon in China, where the global giant is a dwarf (chuang)

Amazon has long been in the news – for its giant size, its rapid growth, its silly new inventions of drones and talking buttons for placing orders. Amazon’s employees have shifted the spotlight from the consumer perspective to their own working conditions. They’ve moved from quietly sweating away behind the walls of Amazon’s massive “fulfillment centers” to speaking out and eventually fighting back against the monotony of picking and packing, of being bullied around and treated like children by managers, against low wages and long hours, against changing shifts and short breaks and so on. Workers in Germany, Poland and France have gone on strike or used other collective actions, such as slowdowns, to assert their demands and resist intimidation by this seemingly all-powerful exploiter.
A lot of goods that Amazon ships to American, European and Japanese customers are made in China. And here too, Amazon has been trying to establish roots. However, in China, Amazon is a dwarf and light years away from the dominating position it holds elsewhere. Still, Amazon’s global reach coupled with its workers’ struggles and networking efforts elsewhere make it a particularly interesting case for comparing work conditions and for exchange among workers in different parts of the world.


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