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(en) Poland, Worker Initiative: Block of "Black Friday" during the sale in Amazon [machine translation]

Date Thu, 14 Sep 2017 08:06:33 +0300


Black Friday Block - A Week of Action for the Striking Employees of Amazona ---- For nearly four years, Amazona's employees in Germany have been struggling to meet their demands for the company. It's not just a few euros in increments, which can guarantee a collective agreement. This is about the working environment that causes illness, humiliating control and disrespect for employees. ---- The "Black Friday" action week, 24.11.2017 (International Amazon Day) will be our form of support for our employees. In "Black Friday" with the blockade of Amazon, we will strengthen the power of destruction of pre-Christmas strikes. The Kudamm-Karree distribution center in Berlin guarantees the delivery of goods within two hours (for prime customers even within an hour). The guarantee is quite poor, because the downtown area consists of many narrow streets! During this week, Amazona's customers, who are in solidarity with his crew, will place an order (excluding shipping costs), and the packages will then be sent back by attaching a letter of support to the employees. We do not know if this will lead to the blocking of Amazon's website. However, one should expect,

Despotism of total control

Performance pressure and physical exhaustion are the norms in the so-called Fulfillment Centers (FCs). Amazona's software enables fast pace and coordination of all stages of operation. The goal is to take over "control" over the work your employees have to be like ordinary tools: detect signals, scan goods, lift, push, run, run - 20 km per day, 200 packs per hour. At the same time, algorithms record all types of moves and completed work stages, create individual performance profiles and collective average performance, which are presented to employees as allegedly objective requirements. This is how the factory works, where total control and continuous evaluation produce mental stress and stress. Performance pressures increase the strategic use of temporary workers in high unemployment areas. If they are recruiting for permanent employment, they must exceed the assumed standards. Such discipline is possible through the occurrence of unemployment, which arouses fear of social exclusion and creates competition among workers.

We are machines, we are robots, it is as if you are connecting yourself to a scanner. With the massive data flow in real time, Amazon can monitor the performance of its employees in detail. But it uses even more sophisticated methods: using the app encourages employees to constantly evaluate each other and show each other feedback - the "worst" team member is threatening to be dismissed at the end of the year.

Amazon in Germany overcomes the frequent incidence of workers, which is around 20%, by introducing a "freq rate bonus". It does not belong to an individual employee, but to the whole team. Team members who show fewer sick days receive a bonus of € 70-150 per month. Not only does it pollute the relationship between employees, it also questions the illness itself as a normal part of the (professional) life, often occurring in the case of monotonous and unilateral workload.

Hidden violence of digital capitalism

Amazon is an icon of a new production model that uses intelligent information technology to more effectively subordinate people, and thus to exploit new growth opportunities. We are witnessing how the next industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 and the "Internet of Things" change the work and life of the people. This is achieved through the use of a new digital version of "lean production", standardized calculation procedures such as health workers or unstable working conditions on crowdworking platforms.

The theories of a breakthrough project based on knowledge and creativity in the world of work, however, express in reality the continuous expropriation of the knowledge of those subject to digital capitalist control by means of algorithms. They perform unskilled jobs on unstable terms, or as unemployed people have long been superfluous for capital.

Take control of production

The fight of the packers and packaging workers, the supply chain staff, the shipping staff and the shipping department are proof that the production is of political importance. Digital technologies are used in an increasing number of jobs. The changing labor market is a new challenge for workers' struggles. Contrary to the arbitrary reduction of their obedience to capital-controlled equipment, they demand to influence the use of digital technology. It's not just about small executive concessions, but about the recognition of employees as those who have their own interests and laws in place.

Because Amazon may be a pioneer in a new society, it is necessary to support the struggle of its employees. The success of our fellow Amazons will also be our success!

The text is from the "Make Amazon Pay" campaign: https://blackfriday.blackblogs.org

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