Jeff Bezos announces he will be stepping down as Amazon CEO. Amazon Employee William Stolz joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss how workers are reacting to the news.
ZACK GUZMAN: William, thanks for taking the time here to chat, man. I know that you’ve been kind of an active voice in kind of building that employee union move here, in terms of forcing Amazon to do some more things in the climate space, as well as being active internally. What does it sound like to you and your employees? What’s the reaction been internally at Amazon to the news that Jeff Bezos will be stepping down from that CEO role?
WILLIAM STOLZ: I mean, I’m not sure how everybody sees it. I think most of the time that I’ve been working at Amazon, I mean, a lot of the time, it just seems like we’re kind of working for a computer, really. I don’t know if the individual at the top– I guess, the way that we’re pushed to make certain productivity guidelines, the ways that it’s repetitive motion over and over, all tracked through this computer system, and that’s ultimately what they use to hold us accountable.
Seeing this kind of, like, individual move– I don’t know. I mean, this man’s gotten very wealthy off of all of the work that all of his employees have done. And it’s been frustrating for these years to see that not be shared and not have workers [INAUDIBLE].
AKIKO FUJITA: So, William, let’s talk about the move that Amazon workers, the warehouse workers specifically, have been pushing for, which is the issue of unionization. I was just alluding to that vote that’s coming up a little later this month over in Alabama.
But I’m curious how you see this moving forward. It feels like, at least on the issue of climate, as long as it took, the company ultimately came on board with that. Do you see the divide narrowing between where the workers stand and where the company is willing to give or what the company’s willing to give?
WILLIAM STOLZ: Well, I mean, on the climate issue also, a lot of the workers who are pushing Amazon on that issue are still not satisfied with what the company has done and the ways that it’s presented the steps that it’s taken. As far as making the workplace more a place where workers have more of a voice, I mean Amazon continues to fight that very, very hard. Just on the delivery side, warehouse side, it’s very difficult for workers to come together and make positive changes in the workplace.
And when they do, as is being reported now by Jeff Bezos’ own Washington Post, Amazon is fighting that effort very hard in Alabama. Also here in Minnesota, where I live, just recently, one of Amazon’s delivery contractors, a company called Eclipse, suspended 30 workers. The workers say because they were just asking for better, safer working conditions.
And so, it’s not just Amazon we’re talking about, I want people to understand, but it’s all these little contractor companies that Amazon uses basically so that whatever treatment those contracted workers are facing, even though ultimately, they’re delivering packages for Amazon, that Amazon can kind of dodge some of the heat from that by having these little companies do some of that work.
ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, and I mean, I know you’ve been active in some of those issues you’ve raised with your fellow employees. And maybe it sounds like maybe not much to be expected to change there. We should know Jassy had been around with Bezos since the ’90s, so not exactly as if someone externally is being brought in to change things. And of course, Jeff Bezos is going to stay in that executive chair role. But appreciate you coming on here to chat about all that. William Stolz, an employee with Amazon in Minnesota.