@colinlecher: How Amazon automatically tracks and fires warehouse workers for ‘productivity’

[Editor Charlie sez:  So when you place an Amazon order with Alexa, try telling Alexa in your best baritone to “tote that barge, lift that bail, get a little drunk and you’ll land in jail”. We need many amendments to labor laws thanks to the Richest Man in the World.  But this man–Michael Beckerman, one of Amazon’s top lobbyists in Washington, DC–will do his best to stop all those laws while wearing $5,000 shoes]

Michael Beckerman

Amazon’s fulfillment centers are the engine of the company — massive warehouses where workers track, pack, sort, and shuffle each order before sending it on its way to the buyer’s door.

Critics say those fulfillment center workers face strenuous conditions: workers are pressed to “make rate,” with some packing hundreds of boxes per hour, and losing their job if they don’t move fast enough. “You’ve always got somebody right behind you who’s ready to take your job,” says Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and a prominent Amazon critic.

Documents obtained by The Verge show those productivity firings are far more common than outsiders realize.

Read the post on The Verge

@bizboyle: Wal-Mart’s Online Sales Soar as Retail Giant Pursues Amazon

At least someone is fighting back against the data lords and the royalty deadbeat Amazon…

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. gained momentum in its fight against Amazon.com Inc., with its online sales growing at the fastest clip in at least five years.

The e-commerce business saw gross merchandise volume — a measure of all the goods it sells online — soar 69 percent in the first quarter, Wal-Mart said on Thursday. Total revenue climbed 1.4 percent to $117.5 billion.

The results signal that Wal-Mart is getting a payoff from an ambitious online expansion, which included last year’s $3.3 billion acquisition of Jet.com Inc. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company now boasts 50 million items on its website, up from 35 million the previous quarter.

“All of a sudden, Wal-Mart is the primary competitor to Amazon, as opposed to a fragmented cluster of people,” said Greg Portell, a partner at consulting firm A.T. Kearney.

Read the post on Bloomberg

@hypebot: 23% Of CDs Sold On Amazon Are Counterfeit, Say Investigators

Two weeks ago the The Association of Independent Music has issued an strong warning regarding a “serious counterfeit operation selling large numbers of CDs” using Amazon’s FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) system:

“It appears that this product is manufactured in China, but is almost indistinguishable from the genuine article to the extent that even the legitimate manufacturer cannot tell without very close examination.

The RIAA did their own investigation with staggering results. The record label trade group placed orders on Amazon in a range of categories from new releases to greatest hits. Out of the 194 CDs delivered, 44 or 23% were counterfeit – including 18 CDs in orders fulfilled by Amazon itself, not a third-party vendor. If the order was for a “greatest hits” package, the percentage of counterfeits jumped to 78%.

Read the post on Hypebot.