I know several people who work at Amazon warehouses, and to a man and woman they detest their jobs.

They are indeed pushed to work at inhuman paces, and they’re under constant pressure to speed up or get fired.

The real tragedy here is that none of this is necessary.

At all.

Amazon could double or triple its warehouse workforce (vastly reducing stress, fatigue and injury levels) and barely notice the consequent dent in profits.

Amazon chooses not to do this for academic reasons of efficiency. To squeeze every last penny in profit out of their operations.

That’s absurd, but it’s usual in industry. It’s what happens every time when management is unconstrained by organized labor.

Yes, this is definitely a technology problem — as you so well point out. But fundamentally, the problem runs deeper than technology.

The real problem is systemic. Capitalism must be constrained politically in the interest of workers. It is not capable of regulating itself. So long as our political leaders allow labor unions to be suppressed, workers will always be pushed to their physical limits.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com