Amazon warehouses are 'cult-like' sweatshops run by robots: ex-employee
Maureen Donnelly took a job with Amazon when the retail goliath opened a fulfillment center on Staten Island in September 2018. The 46-year-old Staten Islander quit after just one month. Last week, more than 100 workers and their supporters gathered outside the same 855,000-square-foot packing plant to protest working conditions and spotlight newly released data showing the rate of worker injury there was three times higher than the national average for similar warehouse work. Here Donnelly tells Post reporter Dean Balsamini what it was like to work for Jeff Bezos’ Amazon, which the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health included on its 2019 “Dirty Dozen” list of the nation’s most dangerous employers. Amazon did not immediately return comment.
I’m not afraid of hard work. I’ve been a waitress, a newsroom clerk, an EMT and spent summers on a dairy farm in Ireland. At every job I’ve ever had, there was a sense it was a team effort. But when I walked into that Amazon warehouse, there wasn’t a team anything. It was just, “Do your job!”
In the beginning, I was pumped. After passing an online test that included organizing boxes on the back of a truck, I went to orientation at the Hilton Garden Inn with 50 or 60 others, an across-the-board mix of people from Staten Island, Brooklyn and New Jersey.