An internal document from Amazon, the online retail giant, warns that "if we continue business as usual, Amazon will deplete the available labor supply in the U.S. network by 2024."
The report's findings are the company "was expected to exhaust its entire available labor pool in the Phoenix, Arizona, metro area by the end of 2021, and in the Inland Empire region of California, roughly 60 miles east of Los Angeles, by the end of 2022." The internal research also identified the regions surrounding Memphis, Tennessee, and Wilmington, Delaware, as areas where Amazon was on the cusp of exhausting local warehouse labor availability
"This is crazy. Amazon burns through workers so fast there might be none left soon," tweeted New York City organizer and writer Joshua Potash, adding that he "can't imagine how anyone defends a system that treats people like expendable parts like this."
Amazon's own data shows that its attrition rate was 123% in 2019 and 159% in 2020, which are high figures compared with the federal government's estimates for those two years in the U.S. transportation and warehouse sectors (46% and 59%) and retail (58% and 70%).
California Labor Federation's Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher told Amazon that "maybe it's time to improve working conditions and allow your workers to unionize."
Longtime labor reporter Steven Greenhouse similarly suggested that "IF AMAZON LETS ITS WAREHOUSES UNIONIZE, they could become far less grueling places to work and worker turnover could decline greatly."
"It turns out that low wages and unsafe working conditions are [Amazon's] biggest labor problem, not unions," declared Doug Bloch, political director for Teamsters Joint Council 7. "Gee, aren't those the problems that workers join together in unions to fix?"