Four Reasons to Hate Amazon

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Las Vegas – Circa June 2019: Fulfillment Center. Amazon is the Largest Internet-Based Retailer in the United States

Amazon, the multi billion dollar internet based corporation, continues to abuse their workers, endanger the planet, and cut corners to make millions of dollars. Amazon has its claws wrapped around the world. In doing so Amazon has created an environment of exploitment.

1. Carbon footprint and sustainability

Amazon has a massive carbon footprint from their shipping activity, and packaging waste. Amazon’s “About-page” talks about their carbon footprint and how they produce CO2 emissions from their “direct and indirect” activities. Amazon also says that they are working towards net zero emissions by 2040. Amazon’s annual sustainability report states, “We [Amazon] reached 65% renewable energy across our business in 2020.” Despite this pledge, Amazon’s emission rose 19% in 2020 according to Insider,, and CNBC. There isn’t any independent research done into carbon emissions caused by Amazon. Amazon’s “About-page” on the official Amazon website reports, “[…] We made significant progress in reducing the carbon intensity of our business activities in 2020.” It also states that carbon emissions rose 19% in 2020. These facts seem to contradict each other: either their carbon emissions rose or it fell, you can’t have both.

Amazon isn’t the most sustainable company. Their packaging adds a significant amount of plastic waste in our landfills. Senior Kristine Indelicato from Skyline High School said, “with returns Amazon will throw the item away instead of reselling it because it’s more expensive to resell the item then throw it away, and that really bothers me because we should care about our planet.” 

2. They don’t take care of their workers

Recently many people moved from retailing jobs to warehouse jobs at Amazon. Amazon’s website about employees states, “We are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all Amazon employees every day.” However, many ex-employees from Amazon report that Amazon took steps to not allow employees to use the restroom. Amazon warehouse workers are rated on how good a job they are doing by how many tasks they do. The workers are kept track of by a computer that tells them what to do, and rates their work based on how long it takes for the warehouse workers to do it. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warehouse regulations state, “employees performing physical work have adequate periodic rest breaks to avoid fatigue levels that could result in greater risk of accidents and reduced quality of work.” Amazon punishes their employees for bathroom breaks by lowering their rate. Breklyn Riding, a student at Skyline High School, disagreed with Amazon’s approach to business, “their bathroom breaks are even timed, you can’t sit down.” Workers are encouraged to go to the bathroom during their breaks, but this also has its problems.  If everyone has to go to the bathroom at one period of time then only some people will be able to go. They also act very patronizing towards their workers. Riding expanded, “There is an award system that has these impossible standards you have to meet with chessy kinds of goals in place. Instead of earning benefits, or money, it’s Amazon merchandise.” These workers work long shifts pushing themselves only to get a twenty dollar gift card to show for it.

Indelicato said, “they have gotten so big it does seem right that they advertise about their good employment benefits when I’ve heard so many people complain about working at Amazon, and the high quitting rates because it’s so bad.” OSHA also has a standard that says, “Employees are instructed on how to avoid heat stress in hot, humid environments.” One Amazon warehouse in Texas got so hot that a woman died because of it. One of her colleagues tweeted about what was happening, and so Amazon then made a rule that you couldn’t have your phone during work.

3. They don’t let their workers unionize

Warehouse workers want to unionize to be treated better, but Amazon is employing union busting and scare tactics to stop their workers. One ex-Amazon worker told Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) about an anti-union meeting they attended: “In that meeting, the owner of the company, he said that Amazon has a problem with unions so if you decide to go unionize they’re just going to cut off our company and give the work to one of the other companies.” Unions would be a great way for Amazon workers to fight back against the enormous power that is Amazon. Without unions, workers will continue to be abused and taken advantage of. Riding also spoke out against Amazon’s policies. “It’s absolutely horrible…the workers are really trying to form worker unions in order to get rightful and respectful rights because the working conditions are horrible.” The workers are really treated like robots, not people. Without unions, to give power to the people, the mistreatment of low income workers will continue.

4. Bezos fortune sets an impossible standard

Jeff Bezos’ superyacht has made recent news as protesters in the Dutch city Rotterdam threaten to egg his boat, because it’s so big they have to dismantle the historic Koningshaven Bridge. This is one example of his nauseating wealth that the average person can’t compete with. Quartz calculated that  for an average salary income worker with no expenses never spending money, it would take them ten times the length of all human history for an average US worker to get as much money as Jeff Bezos. With all that money, Jeff Bezos could do a lot of good if he paid taxes, but thanks to the tax breaks his income bracket gets he ends up paying less than 1% in taxes. For comparison the average person pays 13.29% in taxes.

Amazon works hard to make sure that there are no primary sources that stop people from knowing all the terrible things Amazon does. Guadalupe, 10th grader, gave her opinion about Amazon, “I think it’s a great use to find things you need.” She didn’t know a lot about the circumstances going on in and around Amazon. When asked why she continues to use it she said, “It depends on the website or the workers, because I feel like there’s a difference.” It seems like there is a difference between the website and the realities of Amazon. They have created a facade to trick consumers into believing in them. Indelicato summed it all up saying, “When you have money, you can silence people who don’t have money.”