16 Mar Peer Feedback on Rationale Memo: Are Ethical Theories used correctly? Do you see alternative ethical perspectives on?this issue? Personal Values art project: https:/
Peer Feedback on Rationale Memo:
Are Ethical Theories used correctly? Do you see alternative ethical perspectives on this issue?
Personal Values art project:
TO: Professor Desa
FROM: Group 2 Bus 682-03
DATE: March 10, 2023
SUBJECT: Amazon Labor Practices
What’s Our Issue
Amazon is the second largest employer in the U.S. (Forbes) and has a hiring strategy
that they believe is efficient and realistic for employees, but their 150% turnover rate and
dissatisfied employees argue that Amazon is not treating their employees well enough.
Amazon is facing criticism and accusations of the social issue of cheap labor issues due to
the company’s drive for profits at their employees expense. Amazon’s hiring strategy is to
hire employees, never give raises, and encourage quitting when they have burnt out. Bezos
has said that workers become disengaged and unenthusiastic as time goes on, and that is
why Amazon just tells them to quit and then hires a new, fresh, replaceable employee to fill
in the vacancies.
Amazon employees are paid about $37,000 a year for full-time employment in New
York City and bonuses to people who quit (Forbes). Amazon jobs are not designed to be
permanent though, often there are no opportunities for promotions of any kind, and there are
many injuries to workers from the repetitive labor.
We will further research Amazon’s abuse of its employees, and the culture Amazon
Why Our Issue Is Important
Labor practices are important to Amazon because they are related to economic
health, worker well-being, and ethical considerations. Amazon's cheap labor issue has had a
negative impact on the company, causing attrition and jeopardizing working conditions for
employees. According to Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, Amazon's use of low-
wage workers makes the labor market "unhealthy" and disenfranchises workers. It means
that labor practices of low wages, long hours, and unsafe working conditions will fail to help
employees contribute to the company and reduce productivity as worker turnover increases.
Furthermore, 200 public health experts (including former American Public Health
Association Presidents Linda Rae Murray and Walter Tsou) indicated that workplace safety
should be considered an employee health issue and should be taken seriously because it is
an everyday experience in the workplace. It represents an important employee health and
safety issue for labor practices because it affects employee morale, health, company liability,
and supervision, among other things.
Overall, experts believe that Amazon's labor practices are important to the company
because of the cheap labor force, the unhealthy, unsafe employees, and poor working
conditions that contribute to workplace injuries, exploitation of rights, and inefficiencies.
Experts agree that enhanced labor practices can help the company's profitability and
improve employee well-being by ensuring that employees are treated healthily and fairly.
The issue of Amazon labor practices is a highly emotional and concerning topic that
has been widely discussed and criticized in recent years. Pathos can be used to appeal to
the emotions of the audience and demonstrate the negative impact that these practices have
on the lives of Amazon workers. One of the most concerning parts of Amazon's labor
practices is its high rate of injuries and people getting sick in the workplace. According to a
report from the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, Amazon has a “record
of preventable injuries and dangerous working conditions that are on pace to increase in
2021” This could have a huge impact on the lives of workers and their families. Also,
Amazon has been criticized for its terrible working conditions, long hours, high productivity
quotas, and limited short breaks. This can result in workers experiencing burnout,
exhaustion, as well as having to make difficult choices between their job and their personal
life. According to a survey conducted by the Organize union, 71% of Amazon workers
reported that they "often feel stressed at work" and 59% reported that they "often feel
anxious at work." Furthermore, Amazon has been accused of union-busting tactics and
retaliating against workers who speak out about their working conditions. This can create an
environment of fear and intimidation, where workers are unable to advocate for themselves
or their colleagues. This can also make it difficult for workers to access the resources and
support they need to improve their working conditions and protect their rights.
Amazon’s labor practices need to be changed in order to lower its employee turnover
rate, improve employees’ working conditions and environment. Improvement in these areas
will lead to a stable workforce. Employees who are satisfied with working conditions and
environment would not easily join a union opposed to those who are dissatisfied. Safety on
the job is also an ongoing concern that should be addressed. The company has reported
serious injuries related to their workforce, and that has forced warehouse and delivery
workers to take time off to heal (The Hill). As these poor labor practices continue, it will
encourage workers to join a union to guarantee standard labor practices are met and to gain
better negotiation powers with Amazon.
These issues of Amazon are important now, because the customers are aware of the
company’s labor practices and its efforts to comply with Corporate Social Responsibility
(CSR). If these issues are not resolved, it might damage Amazon’s reputation and its public
relations. As a result, it would decrease the number of customers, and those customers
might switch to using a competitor’s services or goods. In addition, the growth of Amazon
could potentially be a plateau or go into decline. The formation of unions is also costly to
Amazon, as they have to spend money on advertisements and programs to discourage
workers from joining.
Amazon is a prolific company that has grown to almost 1 trillion dollars. Their
stakeholders are profiting immensely from this on paper. The stockholders that hold the
largest shares of companies include blackrock, vanguard, fidelity management and many
others (Forbes). Two of the other major market shareholders include the employees,
primarily the executives and higher-ups, and the shareholders of the company. It is a
publicly-traded company, so there are no non-market shareholders.
These groups are only concerned with making a profit and growing their money.
Although they may or may not participate in philanthropy, with Amazon they are looking for
their investment to be as lucrative as possible. This is because it is a for profit business.
The voting power for Amazon is the CEO; previously, it was Jeff Bezos. He was also
the majority shareholder which granted him exclusive control of Amazon. The new CEO
Andy Jassy has control over the decision-making, with the board of directors providing high-
level oversight to corporate performance and activities.
The only prospective option that can be proposed in order to form a stockholder
coalition would be if the majority stockholders were to perform a merger which is an
extremely unlikely outcome due to the profitability of each individual firm that makes up the
Ethical Theories that Prove Our Issue
Utilitarian Theory: Greatest good for the greatest amount of people
– From a customer standpoint, Amazon is the better option because of fast delivery
times, lower price and wide options
– From a company standpoint, Amazon is ahead purely based on sales and saturation
of the market (acquisition of whole foods/zappos/etc, add on services like amazon
– Employee protests for change (warehouse safety, fires, large injury rates, ergonomic
hazards) often lead to being fired instead of taking concerns seriously
– Amazon truck drivers paid $17/hr while the standard is $32/hr
Rights Theory: Are basic human rights respected if Amazon employees are not paid their
– Given the fact that many workers shared that they are not given breaks or chances to
use the bathroom during long shifts, it seems as if the employees are only valued for
what they can do for the company without seeing them as human first
– High expected production rates do not match what is on their paycheck
– Employees taking matters into their own hands through the creation of Amazon
Labor Union (ALU): covid played a large part in this because they had to develop
their own safety precautions
Justice theory: “Justice exists when benefits and burdens are distributed equitably” (page
– Are the people at the top considering everyone’s needs, abilities, efforts and
contributions being made to society’s welfare?
– or are people at the top more considered with customer loyalty, profit, and
efficiency by any means?
● Person 1: Introduction, Who are Stakeholders?
● Person 2: Conducting Stakeholder Research
● Person 3: Stakeholder’s Impact
● Person 4: Summarizing Stakeholder Interview into table
● Person 5: Writing Stakeholder report/ analysis
● Person 6: Stakeholder Coalitions -Identifying ways to influence coalitions/ create
● Person 7: Problem/Outcome
● Person 8: Where to improve. Recommendation/Conclusion
Members Roles/Action items Time
Isaiah Michael Corona Person 1: Introduction
Who are Stakeholders?
April 10th – Rough Draft
Person 8: Where to improve.
April 10th – Rough Draft
Person 6: Stakeholder
Coalitions Identifying ways
April 10th – Rough Draft
to influence coalitions/
Ruike(Ricky) Li Person 2: Conducting
April 10th – Rough Draft
Gurvir Singh Sandhu
Person 4: Summarizing
Stakeholder Interview into
April 10th – Rough Draft
Yuchi Tung Person 3: Stakeholders
April 10th – Rough Draft
Ela Wyckoff Person 5: Writing
Lila Zermeno Person 7: Problem/Outcome April 10th – Rough Draft
● Researching the Issue
○ Who are the Stakeholders?
○ Conducting Stakeholder Research
■ Stakeholders Impact
○ Summarizing stakeholder interviews into a table
○ Writing Stakeholder report
■ Stakeholder Analysis
○ Stakeholder Coalitions
■ Identifying ways to influence coalitions and create change
● Where to Improve
Costa, Kayla. “Amazon Workers Speak about Stressful Working Conditions after Suicide at
Las Vegas Warehouse.” World Socialist Web Site,
“Dirty Dozen 2021: Amazon's Dangerous Employment Model.” Leading the Fight for Safe
and Healthy Workplaces, https://nationalcosh.org/.
Kelly, Jack. “Amazon Prime Day Offers Great Sales-Here's What Workers Suffer through to
Make This Happen.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 9 Nov. 2022,
Reich, Robert. “Amazon Workers' Astounding Win, and How Corporate America Is Trying
to Take Back Power.” Tumblr, 2 Apr. 2022,
Rodrigo, Chris Mills. “Public Health Experts Push Amazon to Improve Working
Conditions.” The Hill, The Hill, 17 Nov. 2021,
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