Labor union brings concern about Amazon's move to a day ship Inc.'s movement against a day's free shipping may be good news for Prime subscribers, but not necessarily for those working in the Amazon department store.

Retail, Wholesale and the Department Store Union, a long time ago critic of Amazon's workplace practices and a backer for unionization on the Amazon, said in a statement Friday that it worries that increased workload may be bad for the proxy center.

"With two-day Prime Shipping, Amazon fulfillment workers are currently facing speeds of 200-300 orders per hour in 12-hour shifts. They are already struggling to maintain that pace," said RwDSU President Stuart Appelbaum. To double the rate effectively, it must also meet existing workforce needs and ensure workers are safe. Increasing speed of fulfillment means they need to hire more workers, under more sustainable speeds that do not endanger the lives of workers. "

Amazon rejected the concerns of its own statement, calling them" misguided and self serving. "Dave Clark, senior vice president of Amazon Worldwide Operations, said the company has spent 20 years of business experience building" a positive, safe environment in our facilities. "

" This allows Amazon to deliver orders faster and more efficiently ̵[ads1]1; not by working harder, but by working smarter from decades of process improvement and innovation, he said in the statement.

Productivity at the Amazon Fulfillment Centers was highlighted in a separate report last week, when The Verge reported that Amazon workers are being tracked For automated systems that evaluate each employee's productivity, and the software recommends advance warnings or fires if they do not handle enough packages. The Verge said between 2017 and 2018, about 300 workers were fired for inefficiency reasons from a Baltimore warehouse employing about 2,500 people; extrapolating this rate suggests that about 10% of Amazon's 125,000 US warehouse workers lose their jobs each year not to be productive enough, according to the report.

Amazon announced the shift toward free one-day shipment last week in quarterly revenue reports, which said operating profit doubled, for a fourth straight quarter with record revenues. The company said it expects to spend around $ 800 million in the quarter to shorten the Prime delivery period.

Amazon stock

AMZN, + 2.54%

is up 30% year to date, compared to S & P 500 s

SPX, + 0.47%

17% gain.

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