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Amazon worker does a Foxconn

by on30 November 2016

12 stories without a safety net

An angry Amazon employee sent an email to hundreds of co-workers, including Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos before flinging himself off Amazon’s 12-story Apollo building.

The man, who wasn’t identified by authorities, has survived the fall but managed to draw attention to the company’s employment practices.

He apparently put in a request to transfer to a different department, but for some reason was placed on “an employee improvement plan”. In normal English, an employee improvement plan would normally mean that the employee should see some aspects of their work life improved – which is what you would expect from a transfer to another department.

But in Amazon “an employee improvement plan” means that the employee is closely monitored until they start behaving properly. If they do not “improve” they will be fired.

The bloke decided that his only way around this problem was to exit the company via the roof.

Amazon is being supportive. A press officer said:

“Our thoughts are with our colleague as he continues to recover. He’s receiving some of the best care possible and we will be there to support him throughout the recovery process.”

The online retailer has taken steps to soften its image as a difficult employer since a New York Times story last year portrayed the company as a bruising workplace where employees were encouraged to take advantage of one another to get ahead. Amazon disputed the characterization of the company.

In the e-mail, the man expressed criticism of how the company handled his transfer request, and he hinted that he might harm himself.

It is not clear how far he fell, if he survived a 12 storey fall there must have been some God looking out for him. Flinging yourself off buildings was becoming a tradition for Foxconn employees and the company at one point installed safety nets at the bottom .

Last modified on 30 November 2016
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