Amazon warehouse workers were fired over text last Christmas, anonymous staffer claims

amazon warehouseSean Gallup/Getty Images

  • An anonymous Amazon employee wrote in The Guardian that seasonal warehouse workers were fired over text the day after Christmas last year.
  • Amazon brings in lots of seasonal workers for "peak," the six week period which runs from a week before Black Friday up until Christmas.
  • According to the anonymous worker, texts were then sent out asking employees to volunteer for overtime.

An anonymous Amazon worker has written a column in The Guardian describing what it's like to work at an Amazon warehouse, or "fulfilment center," at Christmas.

The period from the week before Black Friday running through to Christmas is called "peak," and is when warehouse workers are expected to put in more hours in shift patterns that can add up to about 60 hours a week, according to the anonymous employee.

Typically, Amazon brings in seasonal workers to help cope with the increased workload, and the anonymous writer claims that they double the workforce with these employees who are "paid less, not given benefits, and put on a restrictive time-off allowance, ensuring they'll be working through the holiday season."

The staffer, who works in a warehouse in the US, said that last year seasonal employees were laid off the day after Christmas Day via text.

Read more: 'They treat us like disposable parts': An Amazon warehouse worker is waging war on working conditions in a new anonymous newspaper column

"Last year, that was when the culling of seasonal associates began, people [were] fired mid-shift by text message," the worker said. "Not an hour later, texts went out seeking volunteers for overtime for the next two weeks."

Reportedly these texts were accidentally sent to some of the employees who had just been fired, prompting a friend of the writer to kick a pallet over, say "f--k this" and march out of the building.

Business Insider has contacted Amazon for comment.

Do you work at Amazon? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at ihamilton@businessinsider.com. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.
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