Amazon introducing packing machines that will replace workersPosted by Annie May / May 14, 2019
Amazon is introducing machines that will replace workers. The machines, which cost a whopping million-dollars apiece, will recoup their cost in about two years. Why so fast? Because they replace about twelve employees. Amazon has plans to install two machines each at dozens of warehouses, which would equate to about 1,300 lost jobs.
An Amazon spokesperson said, “We are piloting this new technology with the goal of increasing safety, speeding up delivery times and adding efficiency across our network. We expect the efficiency savings will be re-invested in new services for customers, where new jobs will continue to be created.”
The company has said they will “re-purpose” workers (yikes), but employees are nevertheless afraid. When Amazon acquired Whole Foods in August 2017, observers speculated wildly that Amazon was planning to turn Whole Foods into an automated grocery chain and fire all of the Whole Foods employees. “On 6 September, a group of workers sent out a letter to Whole Foods stores across the country reaching out to fellow employees to discuss concerns with how Amazon has changed the company as part of the Whole Worker community.” Amazon has hired a union-busting consultancy in order to quash the emerging Whole Foods union, and they have eliminated many of the perks of working at Whole Foods. Fears of automation ruining jobs, it seems, are justified.