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Paradox25's avatar

Would you be willing to purchase products from companies that treat their workers this poorly?

Asked by Paradox25 (9981 points ) April 16th, 2014

Wal-Mart has a reputation for treating its workers poorly. However, Amazon is a viable competitor of Wal-Mart, and in order to accomplish this the former company appears to be even exceeding the latter in how poorly it treats its employees.

The Amazon distribution center closest to me even keeps ambulances outside of the warehouse since so many workers either get hurt trying to keep up with demands or suffer from heat exhaustion while being overworked. Here is even more detail about how bad it is to work at an Amazon distribution center.

Would you be willing to purchase products from Amazon, or other companies, regardless of the savings and speedy delivery, if you knew what these companies do to their employees in order to accomplish this?

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11 Answers

Dan_Lyons's avatar

I never buy anything from the slavers at Amazon.
I do, however, often buy necessaries at the local Walmart.

eno's avatar

I don’t quite follow your logic. If I were to boycott companies that treat their employees poorly, then the company has to fire/layoff the very same “abused” worker due to low customer demand.

Are you saying it is better for me to boycott, so that these ‘abused” workers could be fired and end up destitute, rather than to work and tolerate some unpleasant conditions?

If I were to consider the plight of the employers and boycott the company, then I would be the one who takes the financial hit and reduced quality of service since I would have to shop from a place that is more expensive and possibly not get the same quality service/perks as the original.It ends up being a question of the plight of the employers v.s me. In this case, I choose me. I want the cheaper price and good, quick service with the added perks. It is up to the employer to fix his own problem. I’m looking out for #1, me.

It doesn’t make any sense to me to reduce my own quality of life because soemone else has a shity life.

eno's avatar

Also, even if you were to buy from a company that treats their workers better, you’re still more likely to be buying a product that is produced by a company that treats their workers poorly overseas (china, indonesia, sri lanka, etc..). So your demand is still fueling the “injustice” for these “abused” employers.

GloPro's avatar

In order for me to say yes I would have to research every company I wanted to purchase something from, lest I be a hypocrite. Therefore, no. I typically keep my head in the sand when making frivolous purchases.
With higher cost items, like jewelry or a car, I would do consumer research and it would be a determining factor.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I already buy stuff from companies that treat workers poorly, And I will continue to do so.

Several reasons – I, as the consumer, are multiple steps removed from the workers. I don’t really know how they are treated—what you see in the papers are horror stories from the complainers, with never any real evidence, and never any change for the company to tell its side of the story. I’m hearing what is a one-sided argument I hav a problem with knee-jerk reactions.

Secondly, even if these a proven true, my ability to change anything is remote. If I buy a boook from the local store instead of Amazon, there’s still a pretty good chance it was handled by Amazon since they do fulfillment for some percentage of bookstores. So what am I proving? Besides, this “protest personal boycotts” are about as effective as farting in the wind.

Finally, and somewhat important, is that the Amazon warehouse people have paying jobs. Maybe not wonderful jobs, but they’re getting paid. If I boycott enough, they will be unemployed. Is that a better outcome?

Kropotkin's avatar

It’s quite difficult to not support the interests of psychopathic CEOs, priggish or even sadistic managers, and the oppressive, undemocratic authoritarian hierarchies of capitalist firms.

They own the means to create wealth.

Workers have practically no choice but to subjugate their will to them in exchange for a wage. Everywhere we go, we’re faced with adverts for products and encouraged to consume more.

We live in a business-run consumer society. They control governments. They shape popular culture. They influence our desires and opinions. They distract us with banality. And in some cases (see above) make us the unpaid, eager apologists for their crimes and egregious banditry.

Blondesjon's avatar

As long as the poorly treated employees aren’t pumping out poorly made products, sure.

cheebdragon's avatar

There isn’t a company in the world who hasn’t had at least a few disgruntled employees at some point or another.

Paradox25's avatar

This is odd. The human resources manager from an Amazon facility about 40 miles from me contacted me via email wanting me to send my resume and qualifications to her. They were all set to interview me and even gave me a code to give to security. She stated in the email that I -was a possible candidate for a maintenance tech position.

I had managed to get another job only 5 miles from me, it’s a menial job, but it pays enough for me to live off of for the time being. I guess I got cold feet and blew them off. I’m still trying to figure out how Amazon got the information they did about me. I never applied there and my resume is not even public. This occurred only a few days after I had written this question.

Brian1946's avatar

@Paradox25

That’s a majorly intriguing development.

Perhaps I should post a question bashing Amblin Entertainment. ;-)

Paradox25's avatar

@Brian1946 I was thinking about a PPL bashing question since I could never get hired by them. I told my sister about this, and she told me many of her co-workers came to her plant from Amazon, with many of them being former management. I heard they keep an ambulance outside the plant (Amazon distribution) since so many people get hurt there. I’ll keep the job I currently have for half the pay until something better comes along.

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