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Amazon Shareholders Want an Independent Audit to Reveal Working Conditions

Including surveillance and harsh quotas.

In 2018, Amazon secured a patent for a wristband that can be used to track the hand movements of warehouse workers. That was just a small glimpse into the kind of surveillance-filled future the company was building.

Since then, Amazon has come under fire too many times to mention regarding worker health and safety issues, including claims that the firm urged drivers to disable safety apps to meet delivery quotas and installed monitoring cameras in delivery vans. In September 2021, a new law came into effect in California to try and bring some order to this situation, which mandated the company to disclose how its algorithms judge workers.

Now, a group of Amazon shareholders has filed a resolution, requesting that the board of directors commission an independent audit on the working conditions at the firm, according to The Verge.

'The Earth’s safest place to work'

“As Amazon strives to be ‘the Earth’s Safest Place to Work,’ a review is needed of the practices that have made the company a leader in workplace injuries and a target for criticism and regulation,” the shareholders’ resolution states. “With surveillance and productivity quotas linked to high injury rates, we urge Amazon to commission an independent audit of these practices.”

Mary Beth Gallagher, director of engagement at Domini Impact Investments, told The Verge that the many incidents “have raised serious questions and drawn scrutiny from legislators, regulators, and the public."

The audit would serve to evaluate how employee productivity metrics and constant surveillance contribute to an unsafe and unstable work environment and culture. One can only hope that this audit will change things.

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