retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg has an excellent story that shines a light on Amazon's labor practices.

Here's how the story frames the issue:

"Amazon.com Inc. job ads are everywhere. Plastered on city buses, displayed on career web sites, slotted between songs on classic rock stations. They promise a quick start, $15 an hour and health insurance. In recent weeks, America’s second-largest employer has rolled out videos featuring happy package handlers wearing masks, a pandemic-era twist on its annual holiday season hiring spree.

:Amazon’s object is to persuade potential recruits that there’s no better place to work.

"The reality is less rosy. Many Amazon warehouse employees struggle to pay the bills, and more than 4,000 employees are on food stamps in nine states studied by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Only Walmart, McDonald’s and two dollar-store chains have more workers requiring such assistance, according to the report, which said 70% of recipients work full-time.

"As Amazon opens U.S. warehouses at the rate of about one a day, it’s transforming the logistics industry from a career destination with the promise of middle-class wages into entry-level work that’s just a notch above being a burger flipper or convenience store cashier. "

You can read the full story here.

KC's View:

The big question that Bloomberg is asking, it seems to me, is whether the K-shaped recovery that we're experiencing right now actually is a map of the foreseeable future, and what that means not just in terms of the economy, but the nation's culture and politics.

Nothing good, I think.

It further polarizes the country, dampening belief in the American dream being available to everyone.  That's a hard country to do business in for a lot of companies.