Amazon pays workers to defend company on Twitter

Amazon pays workers to defend company on Twitter

NEW YORK — Amazon is taking an out-of-the box approach to answering its critics - paying workers to be “ambassadors” and tweet full-time about how satisfied they were at their jobs. One worker who Amazon says used to pack boxes at its warehouse in Jacksonville, Florida, tweeted about air circulation at the online retailer’s warehouse being “very good.” Plus, the worker whose account gives her name as Shauntrelle, says workers there get two 30-minute breaks during their 10-hour shifts, something she calls “a benefit.” Others on social media were skeptical of her cheery messages, calling her a bot. Workplace experts say negative tweets can be a turnoff to potential employees who have more options during a strong economy. “It’s important that we do a good job of educating people about the actual environment inside our fulfillment centers,” Amazon said. Bezos pays me a very comfortable wage,” one of them wrote, responding to a tweet that compared Amazon’s wages to Bezos’ billions. The job market is strong, making it harder to find people to work in its warehouses. His Twitter account, which has nearly 9 million followers, frequently points out the disparity between Amazon’s median employee pay and Bezos’ vast fortune. When one Twitter user responded to Sanders by suggesting that Amazon employees organize a union, an Amazon ambassador responded : “The only thing I need to organize is my closet.” Sanders, in an emailed statement, said, “If Amazon actually paid all its workers a living wage and treated them with dignity, they would not have to pay dozens of people to tweet all day.” Pay at Amazon’s warehouses varies by location, according to its job postings. It’s not just tweets - the ambassadors also want critics to see Amazon’s warehouses for themselves. “See if you can take a tour,” Shauntrelle the ambassador tweeted to one user.

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FILE- In this Aug. 3, 2017, file photo, packages pass through a scanner at an Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore. Amazon is paying workers to defend the company on Twitter, reassuring critics that they make enough money to live and are allowed to take bathroom breaks. The tweets are part of Amazons plan to combat negative headlines and online chatter about poor working conditions at its warehouses. (Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
FILE- In this Aug. 3, 2017, file photo, packages pass through a scanner at an Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore. Amazon is paying workers to defend the company on Twitter, reassuring critics that they make enough money to live and …

NEW YORK — Amazon is taking an out-of-the box approach to answering its critics – paying workers to be “ambassadors” and tweet full-time about how satisfied they were at their jobs.

One worker who Amazon says used to pack boxes at its warehouse in Jacksonville, Florida, tweeted about air circulation at the online retailer’s warehouse being “very good.” Plus, the worker whose account gives her name as Shauntrelle, says workers there get two 30-minute breaks during their 10-hour shifts, something she calls “a benefit.”

Others on social media were skeptical of her cheery messages, calling her a bot. Shauntrelle responded to them, too, even with a misspelling: “We are totally noraml and not bots and we are totally happy working for an amazing company.”

The tweets are part of Amazon’s plan to fight back against negative headlines and online chatter about poor working conditions at its warehouses. Workplace experts say negative tweets can be a turnoff to potential employees who have more options during a strong economy. And Amazon will soon need to hire thousands of temporary warehouse workers to pack boxes during the hectic holiday shopping season.

“It’s important that we do a good job of educating people about the actual environment inside our fulfillment centers,” Amazon said.

The “ambassadors,” as Amazon calls them, reassure critics that they are allowed to take bathroom breaks and that…

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