Sir Michael Marmot, a professor at the University of London and former chairman of a British government committee that focuses on health and work, is accusing Amazon.com causing employees to suffer from “mental and physical illness.” Marmot made the accusations after watching footage of work conditions at Amazon.com’s warehouse in Swansea, Wales.
The work conditions were secretly videotaped by underground reporter Adam Littler for the BBC. Littler took a job at the warehouse to set up the video. Littler was hired as a “picker” and his task was to search Amazon.com’s 800,000 square feet of storage space to find goods for fulfilling Amazon.com’s customer orders.
Littler had to walk around 11 miles per shift to find a product for shipment every 33 seconds. He had a handset that told him what to collect and put on the trolley. The handset only gave him a set number of seconds to find each product and it counted down. If a mistake was made, the scanner made a beep.
?We are machines, we are robots, we plug our scanner in, we?re holding it, but we might as well be plugging it into ourselves,? stated Marmot in an interview with the BBC. ?We don?t think for ourselves, maybe they don?t trust us to think for ourselves as human beings, I don?t know.?