For Amazon users, the process seems seamless. You can order a product with just a few clicks and a couple of days later it appears at your doorstep.
For the people making that process so efficient it’s different. Workers are required to stand in line for up to 25 minutes to pass a security checkpoint to make sure they’re not stealing any valuable products. The workers do not get paid for their time in line.
“You’re just standing there, and everyone wants to get home,” Jesse Busk, who lives in Nevada, told Huffington Post. “It was not comfortable. There could be hundreds of people waiting at the end of the shift.”
Busk is the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit.
According to the Huffington Post, Busk was employed as a product “picker’ by Integrity Staffing Solutions, a temp agency that supplies workers to Amazon. Busk and a colleague sued Integrity for back wages. Amazon itself was not named in the suit.
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Busk said he earned $12,35 an hour working nights and $11.60 for working days.
A lawyer for Busk, Mark Thierman told the Huffington Post that the claims represent “an utter lack of respect for workers’ time,” by Integrity and subsequently Amazon.
“From what we’ve been able to find this is across the country,” he said. “It’s not just Nevada. It’s Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Kentucky, Delaware. They all have the same setup.”
One Pennsylvania warehouse worker told The Morning Call newspaper that some workers stopped wearing belts to the warehouse just to speed up the process. A 2011 story about the warehouse by the newspaper exposed conditions such as oppressive heat and false promises of permanent employment.
Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant