The Future

Bezos throws billions into space exploration, Amazon workers still can’t stop for a drink of water

A new batch of Amazon warehouse employees are raising the alarm about their treatment as their CEO gloats about how he struggles to spend all his money.

The Future

The Future

Bezos throws billions into space exploration, Amazon workers still can’t stop for a drink of water

A new batch of Amazon warehouse employees are raising the alarm about their treatment as their CEO gloats about how he struggles to spend all his money.

Amazon treats the employees that work in its fulfillment warehouses like shit. The latest group of workers to speak out against the online retailer are a group of East African employees from Amazon’s warehouse in Eagan, Minnesota, who held a press conference Monday to demand safer working conditions. The employees claimed to have experienced undue exhaustion, dehydration, and injuries while working at the Eagan facility without air-conditioning, according to a report by Minnesota Public Radio. Meanwhile, Amazon’s CEO has so much money the only thing he can think of to use it on is funding his own space exploration venture.

“Recently, I couldn’t work because I needed water,” said Nimo Hirad, an order picker at the Eagan warehouse, via an interpreter. “I got so thirsty, I couldn’t even swallow my saliva. I ended up breaking my fast and drinking water two days in a row.”

Amazon’s history of warehouse employee mistreatment is long and depressing: employees across the globe have collapsed on the job due to exhaustion, been forced to sleep under bridges due to inane scheduling issues, and go on food stamps, despite working for the company full or part time.

The simplest solution to all of this would, of course, be money. More money for the company’s notoriously underpaid (and overworked) employees, for hiring a robust workforce, and for building the type of workplace where this industrial-era Triangle-Shirtwaist-Factory-type insanity doesn’t happen. But Amazon continues to balk.

A lack of funds doesn’t seem to be the issue. In an April interview with Business Insider, CEO Jeff Bezos asserted that he has so much money, he’s struggling to think of good ways to use it. “The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel,” said Bezos. Really Jeff? “That is basically it,” he said. “Blue Origin is expensive enough to be able to use that fortune. I am liquidating about $1 billion a year of Amazon stock to fund Blue Origin. And I plan to continue to do that for a long time.”

“Because you’re right,” Bezos continued, responding to an absurd question that had been lobbed at him earlier on in the interview about how he had too much money to be able to reasonable spend on things, “you're not going to spend it on a second dinner out. That's not what we are talking about.”

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