Though most of us have our minds set on the last week of classes and finals coming our way, this is also the time of the year where many of us are holiday shopping. Everyone has their holiday gift lists ready for family and friends. It is the time of the year where we celebrate and thank people close to us with a special gift or two.
According to Forbes, over 165 million people in the US alone shopped during the break and a vast majority of them online. This year, the amount of online shopping as a result of preparation for the holiday season has experts predicting record breaking numbers. This past Thanksgiving break brought nearly $20 billion of online sales, with almost $8 billion of that on Cyber Monday alone.
The leading website for all these purchases is Amazon. Amazon has become so prominent in everyday life that over 100 million people have Amazon Prime subscriptions and the service is changing the entire state of buying everything from groceries to holiday gifts. Yet, there’s a sketchy side to Amazon, a side that in recent months has concerned me about the monopoly corporation.
GRAPHIC COURTESY OF CAROLINE POLICH
Though Amazon is one of the most profitable corporations worldwide, with their owner Jeff Bezos being one of the wealthiest people in the world as well, the treatment of their workforce staff is ridiculous. This fall, Amazon made headlines for increasing minimum wage to $15 for all employees. Yet, as a result of the decision the company cut any access from warehouse workers to receive stock from the company or receive bonuses. Amazon though impressive with the minimum wage enactment, still shows their true colors with how they truly care about some of their most hardworking employees.
In the Amazon warehouse, it is fair to say that Amazon sees their employees more as robots than as human beings. Current and former employees have given striking accounts of the horrid conditions they face which has not gained as much media coverage as it should due to the unbelievable support for Amazon worldwide. Yet, if you look through the stories where employees cannot even take bathroom breaks in order to keep their jobs – you will see that the corporation we all rely on for our holiday shopping may not be as great as we thought. And we should know more.
Ellie is a sophomore Political Science major with a minor in Middle East Studies.