Amazon employees have been reporting thoughts of suicide and other mental health breakdowns due to their poor work environment.
Between 2013 – 2018 there have been over 189 calls to 911 emergency dispatch from employees inside amazon’s warehouses.
These calls have been made from 46 different warehouses in 17 states around the country.
The Daily Beast had obtained numerous recordings of calls to 911 emergency dispatch containing disturbing descriptions of several suicide attempts. Ranging from suicidal thoughts, to cutting themselves with box cutters and even overdosing.
In one of the calls a pregnant amazon employee stated she wanted to “stab herself in the stomach” due to the adverse working conditions there.
These “hellish working conditions” at Amazon have been generating news coverage lately as more of their employees are coming forward to expose what the working environment is truly like with the mega corporation.
Employees that work for Amazon say they are under tremendous pressure and are treated like an “isolated colony of robots” where it is all too common for them to experience “breakdowns” while performing the same task “super fast” for 10-hour shifts, four or five days a week.
Many employees report that it is nearly impossible to keep up with the physically and mentally demanding workload.
They work in fear of making a mistake or causing a disruption that will cost them their job.
A handful of interviewed Amazon employees said they were put on short-term medical or disability leave after their reported breakdown. While on disability leave they said the disability benefits they were promised went unfulfilled and some of them ultimately lost their job working for Amazon.
Amazon has an “assistance program” which consists of 3 conversations with a counselor over the telephone. The company does provide health insurance for employees, but that too is a large financial burden for employees.
The company issued a statement regarding the recent inquiry into the high number of 911 calls from warehouse employees.
“The physical and mental well-being of our associates is our top priority, and we are proud of both our efforts and overall success in this area. We provide comprehensive medical care starting on day one so employees have access to the care when they need it most, 24-hour a day free and confidential counseling services, and various leave and medical accommodation options covering both mental and physical health concerns.”
Now workers at Amazon are pursuing unionization to combat the poor working conditions and unfair quotas. They are raising health and safety concerns involved with the 12-hour shifts and demands they pack 240 to 400 items per hour (one every 10-15 seconds).
Amazon has over 150 fulfillment centers across the country. They employ over 125,000 full time workers. Their CEO Jeff Bezos is the richest person on earth.