Amazon’s warehouse workers become social cheerleaders
Amazon has had to deal with talk of poor or at least tough working conditions at its fulfilment centers. And apparently a company PR strategy meant, presumably, to improve Amazon’s image with socially-conscious e-commerce customers is creating some bad PR of its own.
Twitter users noticed that a group of “FC Ambassadors,” a team of 15 Twitter users who work in Amazon’s fulfilment centers, has been established to rebut Twitter complaints about working conditions. Critics read the move as Amazon doing damage control, or even disseminating corporate disinformation, deploying the accounts to “foil any reports of bad working conditions through tweets promoting the company’s greatness,” according to Complex.
Indeed, tweets featured in media reports show FC Ambassadors firing back at Twitter users questioning whether Amazon warehouse workers are treated and paid fairly. Ambassadors insist they’re not overworked, paid well and don’t have to — or know any other Amazon employees who have to — use food stamps. Some defend Jeff Bezos, and others link their tweets to warehouse tours.
“FC ambassadors are employees who understand what it’s actually like to work in our FCs,” said Amazon in a statement released to several media outlets. “The most important thing is that they’ve been here long enough to honestly share the facts based on personal experience. It’s important that we do a good job of educating people about the actual environment inside our fulfillment centers, and the FC ambassador program is a big part of that, along with the FC tours we provide.”
Ambassadors contend that they are not paid extra for towing the company line. A former FC ambassador confirmed to Yahoo Finance that no extra pay is involved. While being an ambassador is voluntary, perks include a day off, an Amazon gift card and time away from packing boxes.
The discovery of the Ambassadors programs comes as reports from nonprofit agency New Food Economy and Policy Matters Ohio described in Business Insider revealed at least five states in which significant numbers of Amazon employees are on SNAP assistance. Amazon argues that the numbers represent employees who prefer part-time roles.
- Amazon Ambassador Program Uses Twitter to Deny Claims of Poor Working Conditions – Complex
- PRIME PROPAGANDA Amazon pays a creepy Twitter army to convince you its warehouses aren’t evil – The Sun
- Data from states shows thousands of Amazon employees are on food stamps – Business Insider
- Amazon unleashes army of Twitter trolls to improve its image – World Socialists Website
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is it fair game for Amazon to encourage or incentivize positive comments on social media from staff about working conditions at fulfillment centers? Are there better ways for Amazon to respond to critics? Are you basically for or against motivating workers to spread company PR?