Amazon Can’t Catch A Break

Grind for December 10th, 2018
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou


The Headline

American companies demand new privacy legislation

The Grind

The Business Roundtable on Thursday released new guidelines for national privacy legislation, calling on lawmakers to:

— Adopt rules that apply to all businesses regardless of size or sector, but without making life harder for small companies

— Streamline existing laws to reduce red tape

— Encourage companies to give consumers more control over their information and to provide transparency on how that data is used

— Implement a national standard for breach notification

— Give the FTC the necessary funding and manpower needed to enforce the new rules

The Details

“We see a real need to both protect consumers at a time when digital services and the digital economy is so important and expanding, and at the same time, make sure we’re advancing global competitiveness,” says Julie Sweet, a spokesperson for The Business Roundtable.

The proposal puts pressure on Democrats, who have promised to crack down on tech companies’ misuse of customer data without suffocating businesses with regulation.

The Business Roundtable is a powerful coalition of CEOs of leading US companies formed in 1972 to promote pro-business public policy.

Members include: Wells Fargo, Apple, AT&T, Oracle, Chase, and Walmart.

Non-members include: Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

Bad News

The Headline

Amazon robot malfunctions; injures 24 employees

The Grind

Two dozen Amazon employees were sent to the hospital Wednesday after a warehouse robot accidentally opened a can of bear spray.

At least one employee was in critical condition.

“Amazon’s automated robots put humans in life-threatening danger today, the effects of which could be catastrophic and the long-term effects for 80 plus workers are unknown,” said Stuart Appelbaum, who leads the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union.

“The richest companies in the world cannot continue to be let off the hook for putting hard working people’s lives at risk.”

The Details

The Amazon incident, which occurred near Trenton, New Jersey, comes less than one year after one of Uber’s autonomous cars hit and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

Amazon has repeatedly been accused of treating its warehouse workers poorly – especially at Chinese facilities. In June, an investigation found that employees in Hengyang suffered from poor training and verbal abuse and were forced to work more overtime hours than allowed by Chinese law.

Following the bear spray incident, an Amazon spokesperson told reporters that ’employee safety’ is a top priority. “All employees in that area have been relocated to a safe place and employees experiencing symptoms are being treated onsite…As a precaution, some employees have been transported to local hospitals for evaluation and treatment.”

Did you know… At age 12, Simon Cowell was arrested for hijacking a bus with a toy gun.