Amazon Employee Attempts Suicide After E-Mail Warning to CEO
Ron Perillo / 7 years ago
Move over Foxconn, there’s a new king of Kafkaesque, oppressive-working conditions-driving-employees-to-suicide company: Amazon.com. A distressed Amazon employee jumped off the company’s Apollo building in Seattle in a bid to express frustration with the working conditions there. This was made clear in the man’s e-mail sent to thousands of his co-workers, including CEO Jeff Bezos according to investigators. Although it is not a matter of a lack of compensation this time, Amazon’s work environment has been highly criticized by many of its former employees as oppressive and mentally abusive. An in-depth news expose from the New York Times in 2015 brought to light how the competitive environment pits many of its employees against each other and back up many of these claims.
The man who jumped was recently put in what is called a “Performance Improvement Plan” after putting in a request to be transferred to a different department. “P.I.P” to an Amazon employee is euphemism for the company’s pending pre-termination waiting list and many claim that it is used as a tool to terrorize or to unfairly force employees to resign who upper management see as a threat to their own success.
Fortunately for the jumper, the 12-story fall off the top of Amazon’s Apollo building did not result in a fatality and was shortly taken to a nearby hospital to recover.
“Our thoughts are with our colleague as he continues to recover, He’s receiving some of the best care possible and we will be there to support him throughout the recovery process.” acording to a statement released by Amazon.com.
In the UK, it has been revealed by a BBC investigative report three years ago that Amazon expects their warehouse workers to collect orders every 33 seconds, a rate that many experts believe is unhealthy physically as well as mentally. At that time, Amazon rebuffed concerns and officially stated that their workplace passed all safety inspections and that their employees’ risk of mental and physical discomfort is on par with other similar jobs and industries.
There are also many anecdotes from former employees across social media including Reddit where many regularly post about their work experience as former Amazon employees, all echoing the same sentiment.