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Home / Business / Amazon uses $ 700 million retraining workers, but critics say it should go to other housekeeping duties first

Amazon uses $ 700 million retraining workers, but critics say it should go to other housekeeping duties first



Amazon spends $ 700 million to improve the work skills of workers.

On Thursday, Amazon announced that it would invest the sum to retrain 100,000 US workers, which is about one-third of its US employees. The initiative will extend through 2025 and the programs will allow workers to move into "highly qualified technical and non-technical roles" in firms, warehouses, stores and elsewhere. Participating workers do not need to live on Amazon

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if they take the training, note the company.

The training program is considered Amazon's appearance to the future, as automation is becoming increasingly common in all kinds of jobs. But the company can spend time and energy on more immediate problems, say critics. The online store giant could also afford to increase wages, improve working conditions and change their attitude to professional labor, they say. Here are some of the company's other priorities, according to the employees' lawyers.

When Amazon planned to make New York City one of the two HQ2 sites last year, the company criticized him for assuming anti-union over the years. The company at one time even had a video that instructed workers on how to look at the forthcoming association, according to the statements reporting a leaked video. It relied on the plans in New York City in February, saying it had the support of local residents, but not of some state and city politicians. Seattle, Wash. -Based company continues with its plans for its Crystal City, Va. Campus.

Lawrence Mishel, a labor economist at the left-wing Economic Policy Institute, told MarketWatch that Amazon should "be neutral to collective bargaining." He added, "I think it's important to have workers' voices in what's going on." [1

9659002] An Amazon spokesman said the company already offers which unions are pushing. "We provide good employment opportunities with industry leading salaries and comprehensive benefits." Spokeswoman said it is an open door policy "that encourages partners to bring their comments, questions and concerns directly to management. We firmly believe that this direct link is the most effective way of understanding and responding to the needs of our workforce." [19659008] Working Conditions

Amazon Prime Day – The Annual Discount Bonanza – runs July 15 and July 16, and it's obviously a busy time for the dealer. But in Minnesota, workers are planning a six-hour working time on a warehouse (or, in order to use Amazon terminology, "fulfillment center") to protest the working conditions they say are a slur. It's the latest claim that working for Amazon can be tough, especially in warehouse jobs where some workers are allegedly urinated in garbage cans to meet deadlines.

Testing hundreds of thousands of workers physical boundaries as if they were trained triathletes, is the wrong approach. Amazon must understand that humans are not robots. & # 39;

Stuart Appelbaum, president of Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, said the prize day is a two-day event this year, but with a day's shipping policy that basically doubles the pace of warehouse workers.

"Testing hundreds of thousands of workers physical boundaries as if they were trained triathletes, is the wrong approach," appelbaum said in a statement. The company needs to hire more workers than to push those who have it. "Amazon needs to understand that humans are not robots," he said.

"Whenever thinking of Amazon and work, you need to think about the quality of the job," Mishel said. In addition to the retraining work, which he applauded, he said the company could pump money for better conditions. "Amazon is a great force, and then it puts a pattern. It has the power and profit to do better."

Amazon's work environment is safe, and with increased pay, spokeswoman said. The ability to train for higher-paying jobs through the recently announced program was another reason Amazon was a great place to work and build a career, she added.

Higher Wages

When Amazon announced its "upskilling investments" at no cost to workers, the company noted that it was at the heels of $ 15 minimum wage, parental leave and 401 (k).

Last year, Amazon announced that it increased the minimum wage of all US workers to $ 15. Senator Bernie Sanders – a democratic presidential candidate who knows how to get involved in the company – called it "a shot heard around the world." (The federal minimum wage is $ 7.25 per hour.)

But Mishel said that Amazon could inject more money into pay, because workers at the lowest rung did not necessarily have to get a minimum wage. "Since when does a minimum wage pay flattering if it is payroll?" He said.

The average American Amazon worker made just over $ 34,000 a year in 2017, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The median household income was $ 61,372 in 2017.

The average American Amazon worker made just over $ 34,000 a year in 2017, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission filing. For perspective, the average household income in 2017 was USD 61,372, according to the US Census Bureau data, although households may include more than just one salary.

Mishel noted that he supported the retraining work because there was "no sense that workers were eliminated." Amazon used his retraining to complement automation, he said. "When businesses change how they produce and automate, it's a good sign when they also invest in the worker."

Not everyone agreed.

The American President of Food and Commercial Workers, International Union President Marc Perrone, said that Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos had a clear vision: "He'll automate every good job out of life, whether it's with whole foods, Amazon warehousing or competing retail and grocery stores. Amazon is throwing money at a problem it creates and somehow thinks it deserves applause. "The retraining initiative gave workers a way to more lucrative jobs and a useful set of skills," Amazon spokeswoman. Good salaries are important, but there are benefits and a good career path – all the company offers, she said.


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