Personally, I didn't used to buy anything from them but that all changed when I got my Kindle. Lately I've been spending most of my "play" money on Kindle books......and then I read this yesterday and I'm definitely rethinking that whole thing. I don't know how well the good old boycott works, especially if it's not being done widespread.....but I also know I don't feel at all comfortable sending them my money anymore, either. So, how 'bout it? Do reports like this make you more or less likely to keep patronizing businesses which practice such archaic working conditions or does it make no difference to you? I've cut and pasted a few paragraphs - but I'd suggest reading the entire article - it's really scary, especially if it's signifying what the "new" workplace in our stuttering economy is going to turn into. Over the past two months, The Morning Call interviewed 20 current and former warehouse workers who showed pay stubs, tax forms or other proof of employment. They offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it's like to work in the Amazon warehouse, where temperatures soar on hot summer days, production rates are difficult to achieve and the permanent jobs sought by many temporary workers hired by an outside agency are tough to get. Only one of the employees interviewed described it as a good place to work. 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. During summer heat waves, Amazon arranged to have paramedics parked in ambulances outside, ready to treat any workers who dehydrated or suffered other forms of heat stress. Those who couldn't quickly cool off and return to work were sent home or taken out in stretchers and wheelchairs and transported to area hospitals. And new applicants were ready to begin work at any time. An emergency room doctor in June called federal regulators to report an "unsafe environment" after he treated several Amazon warehouse workers for heat-related problems. The doctor's report was echoed by warehouse workers who also complained to regulators, including a security guard who reported seeing pregnant employees suffering in the heat. Both permanent and temporary employees are subject to a point-based disciplinary system. Employees accumulate points for such infractions as missing work, not working fast enough or breaking a safety rule such as keeping two hands on an inventory cart. If they get too many points, they can be fired. In the event of illness, employees have to bring in a doctor's note and request a medical waiver to have their disciplinary points removed, those interviewed said. Amazon's founder and CEO, Jeffrey Bezos, keeps climbing the ranks of the world's wealthiest people. Forbes magazine estimated his net worth to be $18.1 billion this year, making him the 30th wealthiest person in the world. That wealth is tied to the value of Amazon stock, which has grown about eightfold to nearly $240 per share over the past five years. Allentown: Inside Amazon.com warehouse workers complain of brutal conditions - mcall.com The article goes on the explain, in detail, how Amazon hires "temporary" workers - but that they stress the fact that they "often" turn into full-time positions with the company - however it seems that as little as 3 out of every 100 temporary workers end up being hired - most are terminated before their temporary contract is up. Temporary hires do not get benefits and cost Amazon much less to employ. It also explains that Amazon allows a worker to go home if they become ill from the heat - which often reaches 115 degrees in the spring, summer and fall months....but if they do not have a doctor's note the next day they get "points." They are forbidden to talk to the media or they get points. If they are seen keeping two hands on a cart they get points. If they are too slow they get points. Too many points in a short time gets you fired and escorted out of the building. Overtime is mandatory. The doors to the warehouse are not allowed to be opened and there is no fresh air circulation allowed due to the possibility of "theft." Call me a crazy loon liberal - but doesn't this all sound pretty "sweatshop," to anyone else?