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View Diary: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Buys Washington Post for $250M (211 comments)

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  •  I always have to laugh (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, doc2, TrueBlueDem, CwV, Ice Blue

    at all the righteous outrage we see over the fact that wages for unskilled hourly labor tend to be low (actually about $12/hour, well above minimum wage) and that Amazon doesn't crank up the air conditioning at giant, high-ceilinged warehouses with open loading docks.

    I strongly suspect that most of the people who think Amazon is a bad actor in this field have never actually done any warehouse or light industrial work themselves.

    •  Paying above minimum wage (5+ / 0-)

      says very little when the minimum wage is scandalously low. Especially when we're talking about physical labor, if there aren't good benefits and worker representation.

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
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      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Mon Aug 05, 2013 at 03:11:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, it says more than you think (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TrueBlueDem, Ottoe, mattc129

        $12/hour is considerably more than the minimum wage has ever been, even when inflation is factored in. In 1968, when the minimum wage was higher in real terms than it has ever been before or since, it was still only the equivalent of $10.56 in 2012 dollars.

        I suppose you're one of those lucky folks I talked about, who's never had to work in a warehouse or similar environment. Well, I have. And let me tell you: Warehouses and factories suck to work in. Winters aren't usually so bad, especially if there's a lot of machinery running all the time, but you pay for that and more in the summer when all that waste heat just makes the place hotter. They can't run air conditioning because the ceilings are too high and the loading dock doors are open too often. If you're lucky, you get to stand next to a fan for at least part of the time. If not, you just deal with it. It's noisy, and you don't get to go to the bathroom often enough, and you have to wake up too early to get there on time. If you're not a skilled tradesperson, you don't make much money doing it, and you never will. Therefore, you take every opportunity you can to work evenings and weekends because it pays time and a half. You're tired every day when you get home even if you've only been doing light physical work all day. And that's how it's been for every unskilled job at every warehouse since the invention of warehouses, except that these days you're slightly less likely to get cholera and die, or get fired because you missed too much work due to cholera.

        And you know what? Those jobs are still much, much better than most jobs for unskilled workers without much education. Try picking fruit for a day and then come tell me how bad warehouse workers have it.

        •  yeah warehouses and public schools (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tikkun

          really suck to work in when it's hot....

        •  My father ran factories for a living. (0+ / 0-)

          He once had a job interview at a plant in Tuscon. The owners of the company were to goddamn cheap and, he thought, too downright abusive to install air conditioning on the floor of their plant. That interview didn't go well at all.

          He worked at a plant in northern Wisconsin that had air. It wasn't uniformly cool in summer but it helped.

          Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

          by Ice Blue on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:21:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Most of the people who get angry over (0+ / 0-)

      the quality of these jobs are people who never create a single job themselves, of any quality. If people are snapping up these jobs, there must be some value to them. And if someone has one of these warehouse jobs and finds a better gig, they can quit in a nanosecond. No one forces them to work in these warehouses. I'm fine with people agitating for better pay and work conditions, but to call all low-skill, low-pay jobs worthless is just not borne out by the fact that millions take these jobs for lack of anything better. That is not Jeff Bezos' fault.

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