Friday, December 27, 2013

Bezos, You Bozo, It's Still Just Another Job-Killing Warehouse


I'm coming to loathe Amazon even if that intrudes on the loathing space I have for WalMart.  Amazon, like WalMart, isn't exactly employment-friendly.  It doesn't create jobs in your community, it kills them.  Go online and order a book or a lawn chair or whatever, and it's usually something you won't be buying from someone employed in your community.

What really irks me about Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, whose head proves that you really can polish a turd, is when he calls his low-wage warehouses "fulfillment centers."  Now, in fairness, it might fulfil Bezos' plan to wreak hell on local business or to put as many retail employees as possible out of work but, beyond that it's just another goddamned, job-killing warehouse.

9 comments:

Frank A. Pelaschuk said...

I hear you. I, too, dislike Walmart and for the same reasons you outline; I have never shopped with them. And I hear you on Amazon, but I do shop there. That makes me a hypocrite, I guess. I’ll use the excuse I’m from a very small community.
But I find it difficult to sympathize with the very people who are co-conspirators in their own destruction and fail to understand or even care the role they play in those failures by shopping across the line, online or picking Walmart over local businesses who cannot possibly compete with the predatory giant. These are the same people who swallow the Harper line about tax cuts, economy and jobs without fretting about the maintenance of our infrastructure in the way of social programs, healthcare, drinking water, highways and overpasses, etc. while ceaselessly demanding tax cuts. These are the same people who consider Rob Ford one of their number, who find him, for all his lying, vulgarity, incompetence, and questionable associations, somehow endearing. When Doug Ford, Rob’s brother, handed out twenty dollar bills to people in the mall, those witnesses the scene saw confirmation, not only of his cynicism, but the reality of how cheaply people can be had. Yes, get mad at Walmart and Amazon, but also get mad at those consumers who are creating the seeds to their own destruction.

Al Hunter said...

As a ex-co-founder of Toronto's primary online grocery store, we built massive 'fulfillment centres' under pressure from our investors. The jobs created are not fulfilling to the workers as they are reduced to human robots that follow strategies such as 'pick to light' which machines could do better once their manipulative versatility increases and costs come down.

The Mound of Sound said...

Frank, Al, I totally agree. If we had a cohesive society with a better sense of community, places like WalMart and Amazon would be out of business, rejected as retail pariahs.

I sense a difference, Al, in the online grocery business. How else would that work? I had to order groceries online from our local, island-based grocery store when I injured my foot. I was pleased to learn that they used shoppers, with carts, who went up and down the aisles filling my order. The shopper even called me, twice, to offer suggestions or confirm what I really wanted. Then, an hour later, it was delivered to my door, brought the order inside, and unpacked it onto my kitchen counters. It cost an extra $10 but, really, that seemed like pittance. It was a great experience.

The Mound of Sound said...

My point, Al, was that a strictly on-line grocery business has to be different than the store-based model that served me so well.

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dcliquidators said...

As consumers, the best we can do is to boycott whatever we dislike and that's Walmart and Amazon. This is the power we have as consumers.

Owen Gray said...

We live near a medium sized city, which used to have a thriving Main Street. Then, when a mall arrived in town, it was surrounded by big box stores.

Main Street is now full of empty stores fronts. Some people call that "creative destruction."

Purple library guy said...

One particularly annoying thing is, if it weren't for capitalism and globalization and free trade, I'd support job-killing warehouses. Same effect for less work would be a good thing if we got to share the labour saving and the profits.

Instead Bezos gets the profits, we get high unemployment and ever-crappier jobs, and few dare complain lest they be sent to join the swelling ranks of Marx's "reserve army of labour".

Al Hunter said...

Our original online grocery business model was based on shoppers picking from existing retail supermarkets. Massive venture capital was accepted & they imposed a 'webvan' style mega warehouse. Internal management manipulations ended in corporate bankruptcy and bonuses for the elite. The fire sale remains were picked up locally and the original in-store shopping model revived and continues to provide the service to Toronto. I am no longer in any way associated with the business.