A Sunday Mirror reporter spent five weeks working at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Tilbury, Essex has written up his experiences in a piece called “Undercover at Amazon: Exhausted humans are inefficient so robots are taking over”. You can find the piece here.
Alan Shelby worked at Amazon in the run up to Black Friday and his piece does make for quite worrying reading. The article includes some of the undercover video footage he took at the site during his time there. He’s highly critical of the physical demands of the job, the stringent targets system and working conditions.
Shelby writes: “But Amazon has recognised humans are the least efficient part of the operation, so in Tilbury the robots take over. At every turn it felt like the human staff were reduced to livestock, existing only to service the machine. The repetitive, monotonous work at its ironically named “fulfilment centre” did me no favours mentally, either.”
It’s always interesting to read these experiences and there’s no doubt that these are physically demanding jobs that are never going to be either thrilling of particularly intellectually rewarding. And at £8.20 per hour it’s a fairly low paid job. But that’s also true of any number of similar jobs.
What is perhaps most interesting is how dedicated Amazon is to robots and automation and there is little doubt that they are investing heavily in technology and further automation.
Have you any experience working in an Amazon fulfilment centre? Does this report chime true?