Amazon is slammed for promoting ex-prison exec to run notorious fulfilment center warehouse training

‘From the minor league to the pros!’: Amazon is slammed for promoting an ex-prison exec to run its notorious fulfilment center warehouse training – where staff complain of zero breaks while drivers have to pee in bottles

  • Amazon has come under fire for their new hire, and what it means for the morale of already-disgruntled warehouse workers
  • Based in Seattle, Dayna Howard was promoted from her position as Amazon’s Director of Security and Loss Prevention – having worked at the company for over a decade
  • Dozens of staff members have also come out and described the relentless working practices in fulfilment centers where people have no breaks and are shortchanged on paychecks 

Amazon has come under fire for promoting an ex-prison exec to run its notorious fulfilment center warehouse training – which has faced a slew of misconduct allegations in recent years. 

Dayna Howard, a former manager at private prison and detention center firm Corrections Corporation of America, is now in charge of training warehouse workers at Jeff Bezos‘ company. 

Many have pointed out the irony – considering Amazon has previously admitted to forcing its fleet drivers to pee in bottles during their shifts as they allegedly face other poor work conditions. 

Dozens of staff members have also come out and described the relentless working practices in fulfilment centers where people have no breaks and are shortchanged on paychecks.

Dayna Howard is Amazon's new head of training for warehouse workers. The company's notorious fulfilment center warehouses have faced a slew of misconduct allegations in recent years

Dayna Howard is Amazon’s new head of training for warehouse workers. The company’s notorious fulfilment center warehouses have faced a slew of misconduct allegations in recent years

Howard used to work as a manager at private prison and detention center firm Corrections Corporation of America

Howard used to work as a manager at private prison and detention center firm Corrections Corporation of America

Based in Seattle, Howard was promoted from her position as Amazon’s Director of Security and Loss Prevention – having worked at the company for over a decade. 

But before, she worked for private prison giant Corrections Corporation of America, which has since been renamed CoreCivic, first reported by writer Matt Stoller

Howard previously boasted on her social media about being good at designing inmate systems at prisons – as she now embarks on her new role at Amazon, where people have likened the work to allegedly being incarcerated.

The former prison exec said she: ‘Developed a receiving and discharge training program. Facilitated a pre-service and in-service training program for all staff; re-vamped inmate admission process and revised all processing documentation.’ 

Amazon has been slammed for their new hire, and what it means for the morale of already-disgruntled warehouse workers. 

One person jibed at the news: ‘She went from the minor league to the pros!’ 

And another added: ‘Yeah, I don’t know about you but I think this is gonna be run really well, what can go wrong!’ 

Referencing the extensive allegations made against Amazon for their treatment of workers in warehouses, a third said: ‘Makes sense, considering the two have so much in common!’ 

A worker at an Amazon fulfilment center in Baltimore, Maryland

A worker at an Amazon fulfilment center in Baltimore, Maryland

Many have pointed out the irony - considering Amazon has previously admitted to forcing its drivers to pee in bottles during their shifts as well as other poor work conditions

Many have pointed out the irony – considering Amazon has previously admitted to forcing its drivers to pee in bottles during their shifts as well as other poor work conditions

One outraged person slammed billionaire founder Jeff Bezos directly for the new hire: ‘Amazon, Jeff Bezoz, are you out of your minds? The message you just sent to your workers is obtuse & for those who use Amazon well maybe it’s time for change.’

Others claimed that Amazon’s warehouses are indeed prisons – and joked that under Howard’s leadership you will only get ‘yard time if you meet your quotas.’ 

However some stated frankly they were not shocked, based on the slew of allegations previously made against the company: ‘Not shocking at all. Amazon warehouses, just like factories and much else, are designed and run like prisons.’ 

Amazon did not immediately respond for comment. 

Back in April 2022, workers at an Amazon facility in New York City voted to unionize, making it the online retailer’s first U.S. facility to organize. 

Employees at the fulfillment center known as JFK8 voted 2,654 to 2,131 in support of the Amazon Labor Union, according to a count by the National Labor Relations Board. 

Dozens of people took to social media to complain about Amazon's new hire, alluding to the fact that her former work as a prison exec may be reflected in her new position at Bezos' firm

Dozens of people took to social media to complain about Amazon’s new hire, alluding to the fact that her former work as a prison exec may be reflected in her new position at Bezos’ firm

At the time, the center was now poised to become the first and only Amazon warehouse among the 110 in the states to unionize. 

In June, a leaked document also revealed that the mammoth company could run out of warehouse workers by 2024 as they continue to burn through their workforce.

Grueling shifts, long hours, and poor welfare have been reported by staff in Amazon’s warehouses in recent years.

The document, first reported by Recode, includes the damning line: ‘If we continue business as usual, Amazon will deplete the available labor supply in the US network by 2024.’ 

It was published internally in 2021. According to Recode, an Amazon spokesperson did not refute its authenticity.

The areas where employees are expected to be most scarce include the Inland Empire, California, an hour and a half east of Los Angeles. The region is around two hour drive from 20 million potential Amazon customers.

According to Amazon’s own data, the company had an attritional rate of 123 percent last year.

Employees at the fulfillment center known as JFK8 voted 2,654 to 2,131 in support of the Amazon Labor Union earlier in 2022

Employees at the fulfillment center known as JFK8 voted 2,654 to 2,131 in support of the Amazon Labor Union earlier in 2022

Amazon has faced a slew of allegations about poor working conditions in recent years

Amazon has faced a slew of allegations about poor working conditions in recent years

Amazon workers perform their jobs inside of an Amazon fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New Jersey

Amazon workers perform their jobs inside of an Amazon fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New Jersey

That means that over the course of the year, the number of workers who left the firm was equivalent to the entire number working there at the start of the year – with an additional 23 percent on top.

The company employs roughly 1.3 million workers across the country, and since its founding in 1994, Amazon has successfully rebuffed labor organizers. 

In December 2021, six Amazon employees were killed in Edwardsville, Illinois, when a tornado struck the facility.

Workers who survived the tornado later filed a lawsuit against the construction company who built the facility. In it, the plaintiffs said that there was no proper sheltering available inside, reported KMOV in May 2022.

Following the tornado, Amazon denied claims from employees at the Edwardsville center that the company banned them from using their cell phones at work, reports Business Insider.

According of the activist group, More Perfect Union, two workers died at the company’s Bessemer, Alabama, facility within 24 hours of each other.

The group said that one of the deceased men had his request to go home denied by HR. Hours later he suffered a fatal stroke on the job.

The group alleges that a total of six people died at the Bessemer facility in 2021 and that Amazon has covered up the deaths.

Amazon denies these allegations.

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