Sure, they have to pay time and half when it comes to mandatory overtime, but it takes a toll on the workers too. I can only assume that for the companies that engage in this practice it is cheaper for them to pay overtime rather than hire enough workers to fulfill the amount of workers they truly need. There are also some pretty draconian practices on the job too in some of these companies like Amazon for example which constantly monitor their workers and their productivity.
Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos talks about a "new vision" for creating "value for employees" but at the end of the day it is about creating value for Jeff Bezos and his shareholders. What really needs to happen is for Amazon workers to unionize as well as some of the work places with similar conditions. These same workplaces fight tooth and nail to keep the unions out.
Sara Ashley O'Brien of CNN wrote:For much of the past 16 months, Amazon's warehouse workers have faced grueling pressure to keep up with the demand from households for online goods during the pandemic. Now, workers must endure the stress of meeting a spike in orders from Amazon's summer shopping holiday, which kicks off Monday.
Several full-time Amazon (AMZN) warehouse employees told CNN Business they will put in a minimum of 55 hours this week as their regular 10-hour shifts grow to a mandatory 11 hours. An extra day will also be tacked onto their schedules, according to the employees, to help meet the flood of sales spurred by Prime Day, the highly anticipated two-day sale. They'll get overtime pay (at least time-and-a-half, according to Amazon). But overtime is something workers say hasn't been scarce during the pandemic as Amazon has at times required mandatory extra time, as well as offered voluntary extra time. The additional hours spent working also mean less time to rest before heading back for more.
Even in an ordinary week, warehouse work can be incredibly demanding. One Amazon worker described the job as "an intense workout every day" in testimony before members of the Senate earlier this year. Others echoed this sentiment in conversations with CNN Business throughout the pandemic, describing a fast-paced environment where workers are lucky if they can navigate their way through the sprawling facilities -- many of which span the equivalent of 28 football fields -- in time to heat up a meal, snag a seat for 20 to 25 minutes to eat and rest their feet during a shift.
Pandemic-related precautions at facilities such as limiting the number of entrances into the building and implementing one-way foot traffic policies, which remain in effect, have only added to the time crunch for some. One worker at a facility in Oregon, who spoke to CNN Business on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, said all it takes to lose precious time "is one person that wants to walk at a snail's pace in front of me." Workers are also very conscious of the fact that nearly everything they do inside the facility is being monitored, from their time and productivity to their following social distancing guidelines.
The pandemic, and a landmark union push at one Amazon facility, shed new light on these working conditions and prompted Amazon and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, to promise changes and concede more needs to be done to improve the work experience of warehouse employees.
But that won't be done in time for this Prime Day. Workers told CNN Business the job continues to take a big physical and mental toll -- especially during periods of high demand when mandatory overtime is enacted.
"When I think of Amazon Prime Day, I think of mandatory overtime," said Tyler Hamilton, who works as a trainer at Amazon's Shakopee, Minnesota, facility. "For customers, maybe it's Prime Day -- for us, it is at least Prime Week."
Natalie Monarrez, an Amazon associate at the company's Staten Island facility, also distinguished between the way customers and workers experience Prime Day. "I think the discounts are really helpful for the customers," she said. "It is overwhelming for the workers. But we find a way to work through it and deal with it like we always do."
In a statement, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told CNN Business: "Even with careful planning, as an organization that has seasonal fluctuations of customer demand, overtime is sometimes necessary and when that does happen, we ensure that all employees are fairly compensated."
"We also have a process in place so that employees who are unable to work overtime for personal reasons are able to speak with managers and map out a schedule that works for them," Nantel added, noting that typically the company gives employees three weeks' notice ahead of mandatory extra time but, at times, that time frame is shorter.
Monarrez, who told CNN Business she's been living out of her car in recent years, said she's worked several Prime Days and it tends to mean more of the same physical labor she's used to every other day. "I throw the packages in the boxes on the conveyer belt," she said. "I need to hit a minimum of 1,800 packages per hour, so I tune everything or everybody out and try to stay laser focused on what I'm doing so I can either meet or exceed that rate."
According to Dania Rajendra, director of Athena, a coalition of organizations focused on confronting Amazon's growing power, the very existence of Prime Day exemplifies the underlying issues of valuing profit and speed over workers' well-being. "Free shipping isn't free," she said. "It comes at huge costs to the people who make it possible for us to get our stuff." (Athena is organizing a series of actions on Prime Day, including hanging banners in 20 states to convey #AmazonHurts, the hashtag it's using to draw attention to Amazon's treatment of workers.)
https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/21/tech/wor ... index.html
"Free shipping isn't free." People want something for nothing but the reality is, nothing in this world is free.