Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Prime Number


I wrote about the way Amazon has manipulated their co-dependent landlord Seattle and in turn Washington to the role of an Amazon seller.  The cuts get bigger and in order to take it and still be a member of the Amazon team, you take it. 

Amazon is laying off hundreds of workers as it adds aggressively elsewhere
by Abha Bhattarai February 12 at 1:29 PM Email the author

The Amazon logo is seen at the Young Entrepreneurs fair in Paris on Feb. 7. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

Amazon.com is laying off hundreds of workers in its Seattle headquarters and beyond, reversing a years-long trend of breakneck hiring and expansion, according to a person familiar with the company’s decision.

The online giant, which last year added nearly 130,000 employees globally, will cut “a few hundred” positions at its Seattle headquarters, as well as hundreds more globally, the person said. Layoffs began a few weeks ago, and they are part of a strategy to trim parts of the existing retail business in favor of adding jobs to support rapidly growing areas, such as Echo devices, digital entertainment and video, and the company’s Amazon Web Services cloud business, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal plans. The Seattle Times originally reported the news Monday.

“As part of our annual planning process, we are making head count adjustments across the company — small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others,” an Amazon spokesman said in an email. “For affected employees, we work to find roles in the areas where we are hiring.” (Jeffrey P. Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, owns The Washington Post.)

As one of the country’s largest private employers, Amazon has been hiring aggressively in recent years. Last year, the company announced plans to hire 50,000 warehouse workers, staging a one-day blitz dubbed “Amazon jobs day.” The company also is scouting out sites for a second North American headquarters, where it plans to employ as many as 50,000 full-time workers, many of them in high-paying office jobs. Those plans will not be affected by the latest layoffs, the person said.

The online giant reported its highest quarterly profits in company history this month, with $1.9 billion in profits on sales of $60.5 billion. It ended the year with 566,000 employees globally, up 66 percent from a year earlier.

I said in my blog post Promises Promises about the mega-giant  they make many claims, make many entrances into many businesses, buy some, win some and lose some.  For years Amazon rarely made a profit.  The stories of employee climate and the turnover has been well documented from The New York Times to the online sight Glassdoor.  The Seattle Times, their Seattle Weekly, The Stranger have often written about the way Amazon has affected the city and the climate of culture that dominates the region in the same way Boeing once did as did Microsoft did before.  Cities reliant upon an industry have conflicted relationships with their major employer always do.  Again ask San Francisco Bay Area, Cleveland, Detroit to name a few.  As some rise others fall.  Funny just like water in rivers, they crest, they flood, they recede  and sometimes they just flow along.

Again, did they hire 50,000 "fulfillment" center workers?  What is their status? Full time Amazon employees?  And still retained, etc.  Here is where we need to support Journalism so that Reporters and News outlets can research and validate any press releases or information companies provide to Analysts or others in the financial services industry.  This would also enable people to understand the fluctuations in the market and the facts behind the numbers.  Right now as we have here in Nashville a newspaper and news outlets that do little but repeat said reports issued by the companies, don't ask questions, follow up or do any secondary reporting unless it is about a local issue of gossip such as the Mayor's boyfriend.  I am over that and I would like to know about many many issues relevant to the electorate about the Schools, the infrastructure, the reality of the transit plan and the other issues that plague this city.  But no we are getting some "famous" New York Deli I have never heard of and a Steak Shack.  Great, but what about Sidewalks?

News has largely become opinion based and as the saying goes, everyone has one just like assholes.  I cannot watch cable news as there is no news, fake or otherwise.  I live for my morning delivery of The New York Times, then I peruse The (Amazon) Post and The Guardian. And all while having BBC Radio on 24/7.  I like news and loved Al Jazeera America and miss it like syrup on pancakes.

I am not sure why people spend most of their time on Twitter and Facebook repeating the same information over and over and most of it from blogs that mask as information - The Daily Beast and Huffington Post are said examples.   My blog actually at least cites and links the news articles and I don't profess to play a Journalist but I throw out the idea that questions must be raised and we all need to start asking them.   I do respect many online sites that do cover specific issues and my favorite is Christian Science Monitor (there is all kinds of irony there) and The Marshall Project, they have a pedigree that cannot be overlooked and they keep their site to the sole issue of criminal justice reform.  I miss Bill Moyers but he still has an online site which is a great reference center.  But you see all of this takes time which reading does.  I have a job that I loathe and because I actually refuse to teach I can read all day, I read at the gym the book of the week and come home and flip through pages to see if there is something that catches my eye.

I write about Amazon in the same way I write about other issues that matter to me - the Medical Industrial Complex, Criminal Justice reform, and of course my daily life here in Nashville as it largely relates to Education.   I try to touch on many issues that also affect me and yes that includes the dynamics in the House of White Men but that is not my primary interest.  I can do nothing but Vote and I do.  I may not love all the Candidates on the ballot but I try to find the ones that I believe will do the least damage.  Political activism is not my thing.  Issue activism is.  Find yours and that will be your prime number. 








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