I’m letting my fiscal conservative side reign on this post and talk about all the stuff going on with Amazon. I will declare that I am a frequent buyer from this company, I suspect that over half my discretionary money goes to them. I love the idea of going online to see a volume of choices that dwarfs what I see when I take that one hour round trip drive to get something locally. All I have to do is punch a few keys and what I want magically appears on my doorstep within two days, and often even the next day, and they don’t try to stick on a hidden “shipping and handling fee that so many other online retailer do.
There is a lot of talk about unionizing the workers at Amazon. The biggest complaint seems to be that some workers think they have to work too hard. Amazon announces up front to all potential employees that yes, they expect you to work for their above average wages. The Alabama plant that they are trying to unionized pays their starting workers about $15/hour whereas most other Alabama employers pay at least 30% less.
I really don’t know if unions are much different in the last few decades but when I was going to college I worked the summers at a local manufacturing facility that was unionized. I paid 5% of my wages to Jimmy Hoffa to get what amounted to below average wages. In my last summer there I just got bored with the slow pace that the union had set for how many parts I was supposed to do in one hour. So, I did as many as I could comfortably do. It ended up I did 300% of the union number for a couple of days. I soon heard from a union rep that I was destroying the job for those who worked there full time. The next year when I applied for summer work I was told that there were no jobs available. I learned later that it was the union that said I couldn’t be hired. I wonder how much of that goes on today?
Getting back to the Amazon focus, I kinda think that my story melds into their situation. The company says “yes, you get better pay, but you have to earn it with better work”.
Another attack on Amazon is from Congress trying to break them up. They are too big they proclaim. But I think they are big because they provide a superior product that more and more people are using. They should not be broken up because they are providing a service that is above anyone else in that field. I know that local businesses are being hurt by the bigness of Amazon, much the same way as when Walmart came to town thirty-some years ago, but that is just a fact of life of an evolving marketplace.