Amazon to permanently allow phones in its warehouses following tornado, petition

midian182

Posts: 7,915   +82
Staff member
What just happened? Amazon has decided to make the temporary lifting of its phone ban on warehouse floors permanent. The company has told employees that warehouse staff will be allowed to keep their cell phones on them while they work, acceding to one of the demands made by workers in Staten Island who unionized earlier this month.

Amazon had temporarily lifted the ban on cell phones in its warehouses during the pandemic so workers could keep in touch with their families, but it had intended to bring back the restriction in January 2022.

Amazon faced a lot of pushback over its plans to ban cell phones once again after a tornado hit one of its Illinois warehouses in December, killing six contractors and leading to calls for the temporary suspension of the policy to become permanent. Hundreds of Amazon employees at warehouses organized a petition demanding they be allowed to keep their devices on them during work hours. "Taking our phones away isn't about safety; it's about controlling us," it read.

The warehouse collapse saw Amazon suspend the reinstating of the phone ban until further notice. Now, the company has made the suspension permanent across its worldwide facilities.

"We recognize the desire for employees to keep their mobile phones inside facilities and the last two years have demonstrated that we can safely do so," Amazon said in an email to employees that was seen by Bloomberg. "Therefore, we are making the temporary phone policy permanent, worldwide, in all of our operations facilities."

Motherboard notes that Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island who unionized in early April made permanent cell access one of the demands of their campaign. Responding to the news that the suspension would be made permanent, a worker who organized the petition drive said, "This is nice but it doesn't cost them anything and what we really need is a raise. Gas is up. Rent is up. It's getting harder and harder to stretch the money as anyone out there knows. We want a $2 raise to the wage cap and a $3 overall raise."

On Tuesday, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a hazard alert letter to Amazon over the warehouse collapse. The agency said its inspection found items that raised "concerns about the potential risk to employees during severe weather emergencies," but it did not issue any violations or citations.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 2,212   +4,262
Funny that Amazon suddenly 'allowing' the bare minimum and things that should be illegal to forbid (Cellphones are the primary way to receive important public service announcements like tornado warnings so they employees don't die due to a tornado...Again that is) only after their employees have started unionizing.

The message should be clear to everybody: Forget about the capitalist propaganda equating all union efforts to the italian mafia: Unionize. I promise it does work and at this point, you are close to literally having nothing left to lose but your chains.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 6,308   +7,247
I for one don't believe cellphones should be allowed in the workplace if the company contracts its workers not to do so.

Phones aren't just "phones". They are internet, camera, video recording devices.

Besides the obvious security issues they serve as a constant distraction. I'm currently dealing with that very situation right now where I have low productivity from some of my employees because they are busy chatting, texting, etc.

Bottom line: if Amazon says it's OK, fine - but if they don't, then don't work there.

That hurricane was an excuse.
 

Dsirius

Posts: 102   +190
I for one don't believe cellphones should be allowed in the workplace if the company contracts its workers not to do so.

Phones aren't just "phones". They are internet, camera, video recording devices.

Besides the obvious security issues they serve as a constant distraction. I'm currently dealing with that very situation right now where I have low productivity from some of my employees because they are busy chatting, texting, etc.

Bottom line: if Amazon says it's OK, fine - but if they don't, then don't work there.

That hurricane was an excuse.
So u do not have a phone with you at your work place? Like being an example of what u say is what u do yourself?
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,465   +2,438
The place that stood out was a roof truss company I worked at where we could have phones on us, but I guess because too many people had been using them during work hours, I couldn't even check my phone for the time without a supervisor shaking his head at me and others warning me.

I quit soon after. You get rules like this at places with high turnover and where a lot of young people work. Not my jam.
 

NintPlayBox

Posts: 56   +52
Funny that Amazon suddenly 'allowing' the bare minimum and things that should be illegal to forbid (Cellphones are the primary way to receive important public service announcements like tornado warnings so they employees don't die due to a tornado...Again that is) only after their employees have started unionizing.

The message should be clear to everybody: Forget about the capitalist propaganda equating all union efforts to the italian mafia: Unionize. I promise it does work and at this point, you are close to literally having nothing left to lose but your chains.
Now Amazon can now perfectly fire employees for using their cells while working.
Their cellphones on them are for EMERGENCY purposes ONLY.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,212   +4,262
Now Amazon can now perfectly fire employees for using their cells while working.
Their cellphones on them are for EMERGENCY purposes ONLY.
Again, "At will" employment laws or rather, lack thereof, should be one of the first objectives for unions and the emerging labor movement to go after.

In the short term, all Amazon employees should consider unionizing precisely because Amazon will try to do something like firing employees for innocuous and inconsequential bs like checking your phone: As soon as this starts the union can actually initiate a strike and force Amazon to treat their employees like actual human beings instead of just flesh and bone robots to be exploited without any regards for their mental health.
 

DukeJukem

Posts: 287   +316
I for one don't believe cellphones should be allowed in the workplace if the company contracts its workers not to do so.

Phones aren't just "phones". They are internet, camera, video recording devices.

Besides the obvious security issues they serve as a constant distraction. I'm currently dealing with that very situation right now where I have low productivity from some of my employees because they are busy chatting, texting, etc.

Bottom line: if Amazon says it's OK, fine - but if they don't, then don't work there.

That hurricane was an excuse.
Yea because people like finding out their kids/family members/friends have died or are in trouble hours later thanks to not being allowed a cell phone.
 

NintPlayBox

Posts: 56   +52
Again, "At will" employment laws or rather, lack thereof, should be one of the first objectives for unions and the emerging labor movement to go after.

In the short term, all Amazon employees should consider unionizing precisely because Amazon will try to do something like firing employees for innocuous and inconsequential bs like checking your phone: As soon as this starts the union can actually initiate a strike and force Amazon to treat their employees like actual human beings instead of just flesh and bone robots to be exploited without any regards for their mental health.
Employees checking on their phones during work hours cuts on productivity, so that's NO "innocuous and inconsequential bs"

That's a legitimate reason for termination.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,212   +4,262
Employees checking on their phones during work hours cuts on productivity, so that's NO "innocuous and inconsequential bs"

That's a legitimate reason for termination.
So u do not have a phone with you at your work place? Like being an example of what u say is what u do yourself?
Sorry but as Dsirius hints at, the pandemic and home office modes have shown this to be utterly false: not only have people increased their productivity working remotely having not just their phones but computers, consoles tablets and tvs at their disposal so what you're saying has no basis in reality.

More over, productivity is a tool of capitalism and it's usually not serving the interest of the workers themselves: Even if productivity did decrease which again, I am not conceding as something that's actually happening in reality, once every worker is entitled to an actually fair compensation like say, stock on the company and the union at the very least sitting on the board of directors, then productivity becomes relevant to workers if and when they feel they're not getting enough revenue share due to their overall company revenue.

But trust me: even with a plummet in productivity which again, it will not happen just because of cellphones, if employers were fairly compensating by even a fraction of the actual value they generate for the company, literally nobody would complain and companies would be able to grow and expand by virtue of just having workers control a company on a true egalitarian fashion that affords all of them a decent standard of living without a monstrous virtual slavery like Amazon leaving employees with medical episodes to literally die right next to their co-workers, having their drivers require such aggressive targets they literally have to pee in bottles and use diapers and recently, having them literally die because they wouldn't want to let them out during a TORNADO hitting the warehouse because well, "that would decrease productivity and we'll be legally allowed to fire you!"

Honestly I don't care how legal it is for Amazon to do this: Is monstrous and if breaking the law and literal violence is needed to dismantle a system that allows such horrorific working conditions then that's a decision for Amazon workers through their union to take, not yours to pontificate about.
 
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NintPlayBox

Posts: 56   +52
Sorry but as Dsirius hints at, the pandemic and home office modes have shown this to be utterly false: not only have people increased their productivity working remotely having not just their phones but computers, consoles tablets and tvs at their disposal so what you're saying has no basis in reality.

More over, productivity is a tool of capitalism and it's usually not serving the interest of the workers themselves: Even if productivity did decrease which again, I am not conceding as something that's actually happening in reality, once every worker is entitled to an actually fair compensation like say, stock on the company and the union at the very least sitting on the board of directors, then productivity becomes relevant to workers if and when they feel they're not getting enough revenue share due to their overall company revenue.

But trust me: even with a plummet in productivity which again, it will not happen just because of cellphones, if employers were fairly compensating by even a fraction of the actual value they generate for the company, literally nobody would complain and companies would be able to grow and expand by virtue of just having workers control a company on a true egalitarian fashion that affords all of them a decent standard of living without a monstrous virtual slavery like Amazon leaving employees with medical episodes to literally die right next to their co-workers, having their drivers require such aggressive targets they literally have to pee in bottles and use diapers and recently, having them literally die because they wouldn't want to let them out during a TORNADO hitting the warehouse because well, "that would decrease productivity and we'll be legally allowed to fire you!"

Honestly I don't care how legal it is for Amazon to do this: Is monstrous and if breaking the law and literal violence is needed to dismantle a system that allows such horrorific working conditions then that's a decision for Amazon workers through their union to take, not yours to pontificate about.
Realistically there is absolutely NO way working from home is anywhere near as productive as working from an office/building environment as you stated dealing with a work environment in which your spouse is watching TV, your kids screaming and kicking and the delivery and neighbors ringing the doorbell makes productivity hit a low time mark....Companies didn't have any other choice be because of Covid restrictions and it was either let productivity go down hill or close the business all together.

Don't fool yourself productivity in a work environment is dictated by how many distractions you get and a cellphone is the biggest distraction of all.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,212   +4,262
Realistically there is absolutely NO way working from home is anywhere near as productive as working from an office/building environment as you stated dealing with a work environment in which your spouse is watching TV, your kids screaming and kicking and the delivery and neighbors ringing the doorbell makes productivity hit a low time mark....Companies didn't have any other choice be because of Covid restrictions and it was either let productivity go down hill or close the business all together.

Don't fool yourself productivity in a work environment is dictated by how many distractions you get and a cellphone is the biggest distraction of all.
Again, I won't take your word about being "realistic" when we have actual studies that show the opposite is true:

 

nodfor

Posts: 248   +445
I for one don't believe cellphones should be allowed in the workplace if the company contracts its workers not to do so.

Phones aren't just "phones". They are internet, camera, video recording devices.

Besides the obvious security issues they serve as a constant distraction. I'm currently dealing with that very situation right now where I have low productivity from some of my employees because they are busy chatting, texting, etc.

Bottom line: if Amazon says it's OK, fine - but if they don't, then don't work there.

That hurricane was an excuse.
They can ban smartphones but allow dumb phones if they are worried about info leaking from cameras or about employees chatting on social media.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 6,308   +7,247

Again, "At will" employment laws or rather, lack thereof, should be one of the first objectives for unions and the emerging labor movement to go after.

In the short term, all Amazon employees should consider unionizing precisely because Amazon will try to do something like firing employees for innocuous and inconsequential bs like checking your phone: As soon as this starts the union can actually initiate a strike and force Amazon to treat their employees like actual human beings instead of just flesh and bone robots to be exploited without any regards for their mental health.


The Resorts World Casino here in NYC used to have a buffet.
The buffet area was very nice. The food in my opinion was terrible.
One day the buffet workers decided to unionize.
The next day the buffet was permanently closed and the space rented later to a private restaurant.


 

Dsirius

Posts: 102   +190
I'm a owner/ manager. I make the rules.

When you sign MY CONTRACT, you agree to those rules.

Do as I say. Not as I do. (Unless you get your own business).

That. Is. All.

BTW: I make them wear dress code.

Because I can.
In general (and from psychological point of view in particular) there are 2 kinds of managers.
1. Managers which demand authority and impose it by force (or rules). This is the most usual situation, especially when employees are unqualified or too low payed, and managers are in the process of gaining more experience. One downside of this is that, if they do not pay attention, in time managers may become tyrannical and employees less and less efficient or productive.
2. Managers which manifest authority by inspiring people to follow them. For this to occur you need more educated and qualified people from both sides - managers and employees (like in becoming better and more experienced in their own profession).
But if managers take time to help employees to become more qualified and also to improve their work environment, the efficiency and/or productivity is also improving tremendously. And a good manager can achieve this only with well intended employees which have a common sense and want to learn and improve themselves too. I know that u may deal with some bad intended if not malicious people too.
I am a manager too (on a smaller scale), and for quite a long time I found myself in the first stage. I am lucky that I have a great CEO which taught me the second step, took his time and helped me to improve and also taught me how to do it with my own employees.
The hardest part and work is from managers side to do, so if u want to take the second step, I wish u good luck because I know that is not an easy task to manage different kind of employees especially when u have many.
Some successfully example:
Jim Keller which worked for AMD, Apple and Intel and now has his own project, Dan Price etc.
 
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Dsirius

Posts: 102   +190
Sorry but as Dsirius hints at, the pandemic and home office modes have shown this to be utterly false: not only have people increased their productivity working remotely having not just their phones but computers, consoles tablets and tvs at their disposal so what you're saying has no basis in reality.

More over, productivity is a tool of capitalism and it's usually not serving the interest of the workers themselves: Even if productivity did decrease which again, I am not conceding as something that's actually happening in reality, once every worker is entitled to an actually fair compensation like say, stock on the company and the union at the very least sitting on the board of directors, then productivity becomes relevant to workers if and when they feel they're not getting enough revenue share due to their overall company revenue.

But trust me: even with a plummet in productivity which again, it will not happen just because of cellphones, if employers were fairly compensating by even a fraction of the actual value they generate for the company, literally nobody would complain and companies would be able to grow and expand by virtue of just having workers control a company on a true egalitarian fashion that affords all of them a decent standard of living without a monstrous virtual slavery like Amazon leaving employees with medical episodes to literally die right next to their co-workers, having their drivers require such aggressive targets they literally have to pee in bottles and use diapers and recently, having them literally die because they wouldn't want to let them out during a TORNADO hitting the warehouse because well, "that would decrease productivity and we'll be legally allowed to fire you!"

Honestly I don't care how legal it is for Amazon to do this: Is monstrous and if breaking the law and literal violence is needed to dismantle a system that allows such horrorific working conditions then that's a decision for Amazon workers through their union to take, not yours to pontificate about.
A side joke.
An employee of a big Company did a big mistake. CEO of the company summon him and yelled to him: You are fired!
The employee, with a candid face, said: Really? From what I know slaves are sold not fired!
 

hwertz

Posts: 141   +80
One location I worked at had the odd situation of both having cell phones banned and essentially required. Officially, they were banned. Unofficially, they were officially used all the time, this was a large building with hearing protection (ear plugs) required in a fair bit of it; so it was much easier for managers or whoever to text each other etc. than to walk all the way across the building and yell to be heard over the earplugs and noise.
 

BuckarooBonzai

Posts: 103   +70
My friend's work place allows personal cell phones to be carried and used for work but not used for personal calls except during breaks and lunch. Of course you know how that goes. So you have to hide if you use your cell for personal calls during work hours because people have been turned in by other workers.