Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said news that Amazon will start collecting taxes in Connecticut and build a distribution center here “a win for our state’s taxpayers, our main street retailers, and our workforce.”
The new facility will bring hundreds of “good-paying jobs with benefits,” the governor said at a morning press conference at the Capitol.
But filling warehouse orders for the sprawling internet retailer hasn’t always been easy work. A scrupulously reported investigation published in September of 2011 by The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa., found punishing working conditions inside an Amazon warehouse.
Reporter Spencer Soper wrote: “Workers said they were forced to endure brutal heat inside the sprawling warehouse and were pushed to work at a pace many could not sustain. Employees were frequently reprimanded regarding their productivity and threatened with termination, workers said. The consequences of not meeting work expectations were regularly on display, as employees lost their jobs and got escorted out of the warehouse. Such sights encouraged some workers to conceal pain and push through injury lest they get fired as well, workers said.”
Soper’s devastating report damaged the online retailer’s reputation and prompted an outcry from customers. Amazon took steps to remedy the problem: when the Morning Call returned to the distribution facility about nine months later, it found a big improvement.