Amazon workers discuss high volume and mandatory overtime

Brandy Zadrozny and Michael Cappetta report:

As Amazon geared up for Prime Day, the annual shopping event during which consumers can snag Black Friday-like bargains on millions of items, some employees braced for a long two days — and then some.

In recent weeks, workers in Amazon’s fulfillment centers — the company’s massive warehouses where employees move and process packages — have taken to a private Facebook group with almost 18,000 members to let off steam and express frustration with the retail behemoth’s policies surrounding the consumer holiday.

“Prime Day coming up,” one member wrote above the image of a sinking ship.

Others pointed to the company’s effort to cut down on shipping times as a harbinger of rough days ahead.

“It’s gonna be like two months of hell for us no matter what, especially since they’re doing the damn 1 day shipping and we can all hardly keep up with the regular orders with 1 day shipping,” another member wrote. Another equated Prime Day to “when they try to hype you for a crappy day of high volume, and mandatory overtime.”

The sentiments from the group provide a window into the lives of workers at Amazon’s more than 140 fulfillment centers around the United States who make up the bulk of the company’s workforce, which numbers more than half a million people.

In recent years, the conditions in which those workers operate has become the subject of growing criticism. Recent reports have found that Amazon employees face extreme pressure to meet company goals, sometimes sacrificing their health and well-being in the job, and for pay that requires some to turn to federal assistance.