The golden days of the economy are surely behind us. Almost every single day we hear discussions about the minimum wage. The sad truth is that an additional $2 or $5 an hour, will not help fix anyone’s financial woes. That’s why it’s important to note how disgusting it is to hear Jeff Bezos brag about Amazon paying its employees $15/hour. The same man is worth over $150 billion and is already heavily investing into robotics.
That is correct. A person who can solve world hunger with less than 30% of his money, is bragging about paying $15/hour. As soon as the technological advancements in robotics are sufficient, Bezos will without a doubt, send the same workers to the unemployment lines.
In order to reduce the number of workers in its facilities, Amazon purchased Canvas Technology. Canvas is a company that develops self-driving carts. These carts are designed especially to quickly maneuver around large warehouses and deliver and stack goods.
Amazon acquires Canvas Technology, a robotics startup that has built self-driving carts
Yesterday, Amazon said it had acquired Canvas Technology, a robotics startup in Colorado, that has built sel-driving carts that can move goods around warehouses,… https://t.co/tGFHLhW2qF
— OnBRM (@OnBRM) April 11, 2019
The design of the self-driving carts is done with a 3D imaging and proprietary software. This allows the carts to move quickly around both workers and objects around the warehouse. The best part is that the technology can already be deployed into existing carts. With a few quick updates and a rather large initial investment, Amazon can quickly replace a huge percent of its human workers.
Back in 2012, Amazon made its first steps towards robotics. Kiva Systems was purchased and is currently used at over 25% of Amazon’s fulfillment centers. This $775 million purchase essentially kickstarted Amazon Robotics.
There are currently over 100 000 robots at work in Amazon’s fulfillment centers. They transport inventory shelves to real human workers who proceed to sort customer orders from the shelves.
Robotics will be used for the rich to become richer
So, what’s behind Bezos’ sudden desire to help his workers? Why does he also challenge rival companies to pay their workers more while he is actively trying to remove as many of his workers as possible?
According to Amazon, robots and humans will work together and the warehouse safety will even be increased. The reality however, is quite the opposite:
Robotics will eventually mass produce workers who require a minimal amount of maintenance, who work 24/7, who do not require paychecks and most importantly, do not complain about the working conditions.
A lot of rumors are flying around that despite the $15/hour payments, a lot of employees have received even fewer working hours and in turn, struggle even more to make ends meet. According to the Guardian, many Whole Foods employees revealed that they experienced a 30% decline in hours.
To make matters even worse, as soon as the $15/hour payments became a reality, the monthly bonuses and stock awards became a thing of the past.
There isn’t much debate on who’s getting the short end of the stick. Hypocrisy and greed seem to be solid traits of people like Bezos. Unfortunately, these people posses so much money and influence that governments bow to their every demand and the ones who end up paying are as usual, us.
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