Written by Reuters
A new blow to Amazon hit as 50 percent of warehouse workers went on strike. The strike hit Amazon hard with stocks dropping 100 points and Prime’s two-day shipping reduced to four-day shipping.
The strike came after an anonymous memo released by one or more executive board members encouraged a strike and workers discovered new robots intended to replace workers in warehouses. While the company put automation in place and managed to convince a portion of workers to return to work, productivity is still down by 10 percent.
Division in the board became very clear as debate began on how to address the strike. Some board members were passionate about moving toward automation while others remained committed to current human workers.
Werner Vogels, who is the main proponent of automation stated that “now is the time for automation” and Tom Alberg claimed that “supporting our workers holds us back”. Other board members such as David Zapolsky believe that automation is the “completely wrong direction” and Jeffery Wilke noted concern that further automation would spur increased support for democratic socialist politicians such as Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Contributing to the division of the board is a lack of trust of other board members as a result of the memo released by one or more anonymous board members urging the strike. David Limp went as far to say that “there is a snake, or two, or three on the board!”
As the board considers launching internal investigations, an anonymous board member has told Reuters that they and two other board members know who the mole, even hinting that the mole is a board member that has been pushing for automation.
More updates to follow as this story develops.