(thepostmillennial)The Intercept recently shed light on Amazon’s personal social media firefighting team.
While it was rolled out back in 2018 it’s making waves now since Amazon workers are in the midst of a crucial period. At a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, the unionizing workers now face an election. At the time of writing votes are being counted.
The social media war Amazon is trying to wage is called Veritas. The official language in the leaked Amazon document is “educating people about the actual environment inside our fulfillment centers.” To that end “FC Ambassadors” (the paid Twitter PR accounts) are tasked with confronting “every untruth” about the company on social media. The dossier specifies that employees who are savvy and charming are most preferred.
Amazon’s official response to the Intercept story, per their spokesperson: “FC Ambassadors are employees who work in our fulfillment centers and choose to share their personal experience — the FC ambassador program helps show what it’s actually like inside our fulfillment centers, along with the public tours we provide.”
What sparked a golden shower of controversy last week was Amazon’s News account replying to a condemnation of workplace conditions made by Rep. Mark Pocan.
The bottles of definitely-not-lemonade were then publicized by VICE. A testimony from an Amazon delivery driver details the increasingly common bathroom dilemma: “We’re pressured to get these routes done before night time and having to find a restroom would mean driving an extra 10 minutes off path to find one. Ten to fifteen minutes to find a bathroom can add up, meaning 20 to 30 minutes there and back all together.”
Another driver told the outlet there’s “incentive to cut corners” when it comes to productivity and work hours pay.
The leaked Amazon document brings up pee as a talking point when it comes to the social media PR battle. Page 3: “This option is also more vulnerable to criticism both in the FCs and among press/policymakers because the ambassadors will not be current FC associates. While they’d be recent graduates and have deep experience, it still opens up a convenient rhetorical attack for critics — “why believe these ex-FC employees any more than the ex-FC employee we have who was forced to pee in a bottle?””
Pee is a more light-hearted example. Another example of what Amazon’s PR army might face includes a Bernie Sanders tweet. He interviewed an Amazon worker that felt “so depressed working at Amazon he wanted to take his own life.”
According to the document, employees are supposed to downplay such a talking point.
But back to the pee: it was last week when The Intercept uncovered insider documents at Amazon specifically pertaining to workers relieving themselves haphazardly.
It’s officially listed as an example of “unprofessional behavior” in the company rules. One employee shared with the outlet an internal email regarding an incident at an Amazon logistics area. The on-site manager had to complain to staff about people defecating in bags.
In closing, here’s what Amazon’s “Veritas” team of internet janitors has to say when confronting the toilet question.
“My FC lets me to take (2) 20min breaks and (1) 30min lunch. On overtime days, we get three 20min breaks, which is also pretty nice as well. Before the pandemic, our breaks used to be only 15min. The overall 10min increase is ? . Being an essential worker is dignifying for me ?” — testimony from AmazonFCGary.
“Although the facility is big, there are numerous bathrooms to use. My building has 12. Each bathroom can have 3-6? Thats plenty. Plus with 20-30 mn breaks that’s more than enough time.” — testimony from AmazonFCYola.