It’s no wonder that the ways Big Tech operate frighten the common people. Recently, a “study” came out on how surveillance on workers by Amazon can increase the output and prevent the outreach of unions. The shocking part is that Amazon is already working on putting the theory into practice – monitoring the activities of Flex delivery drivers on private Facebook groups.
Yes, you read that right. If you are working for Amazon, chances are your employer is covertly monitoring you on various social media platforms. A report reveals the shocking truth about employee surveillance by Vice.
Amazon is secretly watching private groups on Facebook that are frequented by Amazon’s Flex drivers. These groups usually discuss the environment at the workplace and other ‘confidential’ issues. A ‘secret’ document discovered by Vice suggests that the e-commerce giant is secretly tracking activities of its workers on the internet.
If you use Twitter, your public tweets are under watch. If you regularly post on public subreddits, chances are there is someone from monitoring staff tracking what you post. Facebook’s private groups appear to be the most vulnerable target for surveillance.
The staff has been deployed by Amazon to keep track of who discusses what in Facebook groups and immediately alert the relevant departments and upper management to alert them about sensitive information.
As per Vice article, Amazon has given a diplomatic reason for tracking of employees – finding out complaints Flex workers have and sorting them out. It appears innocent for commoners, but only if it were limited to that.
Amazon is also listening to more confidential discussions that shouldn’t be out in public. Amazon has directed the monitoring staff to not down when an employee posts on something that can ruin a company’s image: poor working conditions or planning future strikes and protests against the employer.
It’s not the first time Amazon has shown its hostile behaviour towards unionization. Amazon is deploying various methods to silence the voices of criticism from its employee base. It doesn’t appreciate criticism.
Many workers have been terminated by the corporation who have organized protests and strikes. Even a simple tweet carrying a criticism can lead to removal from your job.
Heat-map based analytical reports were used to find out employees who had pro-unionization sentiments from the Whole Foods chain.
Recently, there was a surprising job listing of “Intelligence Analyst” was announced by Amazon for tracking pro-unionization activities against the company. However, it was removed by them quickly citing it as a glitch.
Flex Delivery drivers aren’t considered as official employees of Amazon. They are akin to contract-based freelancers who work with their vehicles for deliveries. They get paid on an hourly basis, anywhere from $18 to $30 an hour. They aren’t offered perks like sick pay leave or health insurance.
Amazon has cited that workers from Flex have used tricks to get delivery slots that are already rare. They use automated bots or hang the phones on trees near dispatch hubs. You can read more about it on Vice’s original piece on it.
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