Tuesday, June 29, 2021
“Power Hours” trotz Gluthitze?
Amazon workers forced to sweat extra
Because of the heat wave in the northwestern United States, Amazon opens the gates at the company’s headquarters in Seattle for people who need to cool down. Meanwhile, the workers in the warehouse have to sweat. Despite the desert temperatures, people are said to be calling for maximum performance.
The people of the American northwest are groaning under an unprecedented heat wave. Because many houses in the usually temperate region do not have air conditioning, authorities provide air-conditioned rooms to cool off. Amazon also announced on Monday that its gates at its headquarters in Seattle, Washington state are open to offer people protection from the scorching heat.
According to the newspaper “Seattle Times”, people who are urgently looking to cool down are invited to the company’s conference center in the middle of the city in the immediate vicinity of the so-called Amazon Spheres with their distinctive glass spheres. According to the official website of the city of Seattle, it can accommodate up to 1000 people. Masks must be worn. In addition, people must identify themselves before entering.
According to the newspaper, it will be the first time since weather records began that Seattle’s thermometers read close to 40 degrees for three consecutive days. Power outages have already been reported across the region. The west of Canada is also constantly reporting new heat records. The temperatures here are now over 40 degrees Celsius.
While the public can find protection in air-conditioned rooms from Amazon, the heat precautions for their own employees in the logistics centers are apparently less prudent. As the “Seattle Times” reported on the weekend, citing unnamed employees, they are encouraged to perform at their best despite the increasing heat.
Cold neck towels and drinking water
The temperatures in the halls in Seattle and Kent should be only slightly below the outside temperatures. Large fans under the ceiling at one of the locations in Kent ensured that the air circulated in the large warehouses. It is said that fans were also distributed at one location on the floor and cold neck towels and drinking water were distributed to the employees. However, these measures offer only limited real cooling, it is said.
In another logistics center in Kent, regardless of the high temperatures, additional “power hours” are said to have been arranged in which employees are supposed to move faster in order to be more productive. Not every workstation had working fans, he sweated immediately, reports one employee. Some work colleagues went home early, the newspaper quotes another unnamed employee. “I’m really surprised at how ill-prepared you are, knowing that it has been going to be this hot for a while now.”
At the request of the “Seattle Times”, Amazon denied power hours at the relevant location. The company installed air conditioning in its Kent facility “many years ago,” the newspaper quoted in an email from the company. However, Amazon did not want to name the makes or comment on why some workers complained about the high temperatures in the building. The newspaper’s request for a record of the temperatures in the buildings was also not met.