Fulfilment centre or satanic mill?
Around the world, Amazon is famous for its low prices, fast delivery, ruthless efficiency and antipathy towards unions that say it treats workers like robots.
Now it is muscling in here and is expected to set up large warehouses, or “fulfilment centres” as it calls them, in Sydney and Melbourne as it dramatically expands what it will sell to local customers.
But Amazon faces a different – and potentially trickier – industrial relations system and culture to the US.
National Union of Workers national secretary Tim Kennedy said his union would seek to organise Amazon’s workforce once it opened its distribution centres.
“It’s reputation is ruthless, running classic 19th century-style satanic mills,” he said. “We want to organise them; we will really focus on this as a big opportunity.”
International Trade Union Confederation general secretary Sharan Burrow told Fairfax Media that Amazon had treated workers harshly even in countries with the …