You could be forgiven for ignoring the bluster about how Amazon treats its employees last month, following the publication of a story in the New York Times about high employees at the ecommerce giant all “cry at their desks”, the discussion on how tech companies treat their employees is worthwhile.

The NYT article has been accused of using some quotes and descriptions without context, but whether or not the specific accusations levelled at Amazon are true, the world needs to be aware of how the technology products are made and get from factory to your front door.

Forbes described the conditions portrayed in the NYT piece as “some sort of high-paid, high-tech sweatshop”, but lower down the order of employees the high stress work continues but without the benefit of the high pay.

In the UK, Amazon’s tough work regime has been accused of making its staff “physically and mentally ill” as they rush around the warehouses filling boxes to the targets set by their on-trolley computer.

And then there are the people filling the warehouse using ever more advanced forklift trucks, or even further back in the supply chain with those in China and elsewhere assembling the products, or those in the Congo mining for the rare earth metals needed for each product’s manufacture.

As the world’s economies become ever more closely intertwined, it is increasingly important for consumers to be sure that everyone along the supply chain is being treated fairly, and at no point along the chain should anyone be in tears.


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