By John Williams
The recently opened STL8 Amazon Fulfillment Facility in St. Peters, Missouri boasts being the first robotic fulfillment center in the state, and according to local news, they hope “to become a pillar of St. Charles County.” Tribune of the People had the chance to sit down with a worker, who has worked at the facility since early April, to talk about what he describes as “barbaric firing practices.”
“People come in to work at the beginning of the week, and their badge no longer works,” he described how a number of people are fired from the facility without their knowledge at the end of their work-week. They are unable to clock in for their shift at the beginning of the week and must wait in a Pre-Security Entryway for up to half an hour with uncertainty about their status. The worker correspondent explained clocking in and seeing crowds of workers herded in the entryway, unable to enter the building, acquire company issued masks, and not seeing many of them after that.
There are many ways to be terminated, based on a “points system” for seasonal employees, or based on hours absent for full-time employees. Workers consistently face threats of termination based on unreasonable productivity rates. “When I was best in the facility, I had a rate of 240. The rate they want you at is 250. They keep it just high enough that ostensibly, there’s always a reason you can be fired,” the worker correspondent said.
According to the worker, Amazon did away with Covid-19 hazard pay in June despite rising case numbers in the facility, but high turnover rates ensure that few employees that received hazard pay still work there, in a transparent attempt to stymie workers demands for compensation. Without an organized workforce, the monopoly Amazon is free to run roughshod over the rights of essential workers.
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