Amazon is a powerhouse company that was first known as “the world’s biggest bookstore.” It has since been given the title of America’s largest retailer (online or off) employing nearly 240,000 people worldwide. Therefore, it is not surprising that Amazon has become a large employer in Minnesota since opening a fulfillment center in Shakopee. The Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota is a giant warehousing and shipping facility, which will employ upwards of 1,000 workers. This is great news in terms of local job creation but also brings with it a host of other concerns. Amazon has been accused of mistreating its warehouse employees in a variety of ways, including in the realm of workplace injuries.
Most of the positions available at the new Shakopee warehouse will be for “fulfillment associates”, a position that requires employees to compete against one another by filling online shoppers’ purchases. This position requires employees to work as fast as they can for as much as ten hours at a time. Each fulfillment associate’s performance will be monitored closely and if the associate’s pace is deemed to be too slow, he or she will be terminated. Many of these positions will offer no job security and carry a very serious risk of injury. This is particularly concerning because of Amazon’s history where the safety standards of their warehouse employees have been questioned with its responsibilities under the Workers’ Compensation Act.