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Yuxin, retool your Recommendation section in a couple of ways. First, leave the consulting company
out of it, as well as mediation: these are good procedural steps, but what we’re looking for are
substantive steps the sides can take to resolve the conflict. Second, watch out for “should”
statements, which don’t necessarily provide a way forward: “Amazon should recognize its employees
as a critical asset” may be true on a moral level, but what can be done to make this happen? What
steps can the employees take to worsen Amazon’s BATNA or otherwise get closer to a deal?
As I mentioned early on, make sure your essay is sufficiently focused on recent events. On the level
of language, there are a lot of sentence errors here; consider working with the Writing Center
Your projected grade, assuming minor improvements, is a B+.
1
Executive Summary: Amazon-Employee Conflict
Yuxin Zong
University of California, Los Angeles
English 131B Specialized Writing: Business and Social Policy
Professor Hitchner
August 17, 2020
2
Background
Corporate sustainability topics have focused on the experiences of employees in the
workplace of Amazon Technology Company. Jeff Bezos established Amazon Technology
Company in 1994 profit from the growing e-commerce business. Since its inception, Amazon
has received criticisms because of its questionable social responsibility that is linked to
employees’ treatment within its workplace (Matthews, Harbin & Daigle, 2018). Specifically,
Amazon has been accused of mistreating its employees hence reducing their welfare, safety, and
satisfaction. Although the good customer service strategy has enabled the company to boost
customer satisfaction and happiness, evidence shows that it has neglected its employees.
Evidence shows that the company subjects its warehouse workers to questionable treatment,
including unsafe working environment, low wages, long working hours, and union blockade.
Amazon’s conflict caught public attention in 2000 when its employees expressed joining
labor unions to address the problem of poor treatment. One labor union targeted the employees
working in the customer service section, who complained of underpayment and long working
hours. However, Amazon reacted to the complaints by suppressing the labor unions by closing
the customer service department (Gunther, 2012). At this time, the company closed its call
centers and dismissed all employees working in this department once it identified their
interaction with the Communication Workers of America Union. Furthermore, the company
launched training and campaigns to facilitate early detection of union organization in its
workplace.
However, the employee dismissal strategy occurred as an inefficient strategy for
concealing its employee mistreatment problem. Although the company has suppressed
unionization processes successfully, its employees have continued to fight for better treatment
(Kopytoff, 2014). In 2011, an investigation conducted by The Morning Call newspaper on the
working conditions at its Pennsylvania warehouse depicted a poor air-conditioning problem. The
investigation indicated that employees working in this warehouse were forced to endure
temperatures reaching 100F. Finally, the increased burden on Amazon employees because of the
Coronavirus pandemic has created unrest in its workplace. Starting in March, the unrest is
characterized by a series of events like public petitions, employee protests, and internal scandals.
In April 2020, Amazon’s warehouse and office employees started a series of protests involving
calling in sick to express their dissatisfaction with poor working conditions at the company
(Paul, 2020). The protests created a situation where hundreds of employees in different
warehouses and offices would call in sick in a single day. Currently, Amazon employees have
received tremendous support from the Amnesty International human rights organization. The
management of the company has responded by randomly firing employees engaged in the
protests.
Major Parties and their Interests
The major parties involved in the conflict are Amazon and its employees in offices and
warehouses located in different countries around the world. The conflict indicates that the
management of Amazon places its interests above those of its employees. Amazon aims to
3
expand and control the global e-commerce business by increasing profitability, increasing its
customer base, and achieving competitiveness. Currently, Amazon is ranked among the five best
retail companies in the world alongside Walmart, Costco, Kroger, and The Home Depot
(Angelovska, 2019). Amazon also occurs as the largest online retail company in the world,
whereby it has maintained competitiveness over Alibaba and eBay. In the second half of the
2010s, the company has generated high revenues annually. In 2019, the company generated
$280.5 billion in revenues and targeted to increase its revenues to $334.7 billion in 2020
(Chaffey , 2020). The company will surpass the projected revenue amount in 2020 because of the
increased online shopping associated with coronavirus pandemic. Notably, Amazon’s market
capitalization reached $1.579 trillion on 12th August 2020 because of increased online shopping
trend (Fox, 2020). Amazon utilizes a regressive labor model to boost profitability, productivity,
and competitive power in the global online shopping business.
The company boosts customer satisfaction by offering them a highly dependable and
available cloud computing platform. The company has also boosted customer confidence and
trust by protecting the integrity and confidentiality of their data. However, its employees feel that
Amazon’s regressive labor model does not integrate their interests. Currently, the company has
over 800,000 employees working in its outlets located in different countries (Au-Yeung, 2020).
The success of the company in the global online retail business is associated with hard work,
commitment, and innovation of its employees. Therefore, employees feel that the company
should appreciate their input by offering them high salaries, better working conditions, job
security, work safety, and compensation. They want more benefits and compensation programs.
Also argued that the company should shun its authoritative strategy of handling workplace issues
such as threats and dismissals.
Positions of Conflicting Parties
Amazon employees have staged the protests to draw their employer’s attention to their
problems, including exhausting work, lower wages, unreliable employment, inequality, and
unpaid leaves. Amazon exposes its employees in its warehouses to exhausting manual labor
hence avoiding mechanization. Performing manual labor in the huge warehouses includes
bending, frequent kneeling, continuous movement, and heavy lifting. The company intentionally
designs its productivity numbers to exploit its human resource, fully. However, the level of
human resource exploitation is unattainable for its employees, thus exposing them to
psychological and physical problems. Numerous cases of injuries in the company’s warehouses
are linked to its regressive labor model. Employees in Amazon employees observe that their hard
work is rewarded with low salaries and wages. Statistical analysis indicates that wages received
by Amazon employees fall below the living wage by 19 percent (Pond, 2019).
Protesters observe that Amazon offers them unreliable employment to support its
authoritarianism. Most employees in Amazon are offered temporary jobs hence enabling the
employer to dismiss them at any time. The company also hires its employees through staffing
agencies to minimize liability for unfair or unsafe working conditions. Additionally, protestors
have identified increasing inequality in the treatment of its stakeholders, including employees,
shareholders, and executives. Specifically, the company squeezes its employees to maximize
4
benefits for its shareholders and executive teams. Today, Jeff Bezos possesses 11.2 percent of
Amazon shares hence making him the world’s richest individual (Klebnikov, 2020). The profit
maximization goals have involved reducing employees’ benefits, holiday durations, and safety
standards. According to protestors, although Amazon offers its employees paid time offs, some
of the time offs are unpaid. Most public holidays in the company fall in the unpaid time off
categories. Moreover, employees report incidences of injuries by falling items and poorly packed
items while working in the warehouses.
The management of Amazon has assumed a defensive position on the allegations made
by its employees. They also observes that the employees’ overtime pay has doubled during the
coronavirus pandemic period. Finally, the management team claims that it offers employees’
great benefits package and safe working conditions.
Conflict Resolution Recommendation
Amazon-employee conflict is a normal workplace conflict that can be handled effectively
by Spectra consulting company. I understand that conflicts involving employers and employees
are common in the business sector. Conflicts reduce employee morale hence reducing the level
of their productivity. Therefore, I believe that Spectra consulting company can support Amazon
in solving the conflict with its employees in a mutually beneficial manner. We should inform the
company that solving the conflict will improve the welfare and satisfaction of its clients.
I feel that mediation will be the most effective strategy for resolving the conflict between
Amazon and its employees. I understand that mediation exists as the most common method of
conflict resolution in organizations. Hence, I suggest that the Spectra consulting company
participates in the conflict resolution process from the mediator’s position (McKenzie, 2015).
Assuming the position of a mediator means that Spectra will serve as an impartial third party in
the conflict between Amazon and its employees. Our company will encourage two-way
communication between Amazon and its employees to generate a mutually beneficial solution.
Two-way communication between the employees will support the negotiation and collaboration
between the management team and employees to address the issue internally (Avgar, 2010).
Getting solutions for the existing problem will enable Amazon to protect its reputation in the
global online shopping business.
I believe that effective communication is an effective strategy for creating sustainable
solutions to workplace problems. For instance, Amazon should recognize its employees as a
critical asset. The company should adopt strategies to improve employees’ welfare through better
payment, fair treatment, and protection. Instead of overworking its employees, Amazon should
focus on optimizing their productivity by creating a work-life balance. Amazon should also
replace the rigid and hierarchical structure with a flexible and flat one. Adoption of flexible and
flat structure will maximize employee engagement in decision making and problem-solving. The
strategy will also create trust between managers and their subordinates, thus promoting the
sharing of ideas. Flattening the structure will enable Amazon to solve problems internally.
Notably, the strategy will enable Amazon to utilize its productive workforce as a resource for
competitiveness in the globalized market.
6
References
Angelovska, N. (2019). Top 5 Online Retailers: ’Electronics and Media’Is the Star of Ecommerce Worldwide. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ninaangelovska/2019/05/20/
top-5-online-retailers-electronics-and-media-is-the-star-of-e-commerce-worldwide/
#3a3f9ac51cd9
Au-Yeung, A. (2020). Amnesty International Calls On Jeff Bezos To Address Amazon
Employees’ Concerns About Working Conditions. Forbes. Retrieved from https://
www.forbes.com/sites/angelauyeung/2020/04/24/amnesty-international-calls-on-jeffbezos-to-address-amazon-employees-concerns-about-working-conditions/#61c69d504fe8
Avgar, A. C. (2010). Negotiated capital: conflict, its resolution, and workplace social capital.
International Journal of Conflict Management. https://doi.org/
10.1108/10444061011063162
Chaffey, D. (2020). Amazon.com case study: Amazon’s business strategy, revenue model, and
culture of metrics: a history. Smart Insights. Retrieved from https://
www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/online-business-revenue-models/
amazon-case-study/
Fox, M. (2020). Amazon has shed as much as $113 billion of market value in just 3 days
(AMZN). Business Insider. Retrieved from https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/
stocks/amazon-stock-price-market-lose-billion-value-growth-reversalcapitalization-2020-7-1029398984#
Gunther, G. (2012). Amazon’s no show on sustainability. The guardian.
https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/amazon
Klebnikov, S. (2020). Jeff Bezos Gets $6.4 Billion Richer As Amazon Stock Hits A New Record
High. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/sergeiklebnikov/2020/04/14/
jeff-bezos-gets-63-billion-richer-as-amazon-stock-hits-a-new-record-high/
#5b4d53a853b0
Kopytoff, V. (2014). How Amazon Crushed the Union Movement. Time Magazine.
McKenzie, D. M. (2015). The role of mediation in resolving workplace relationship conflict.
International journal of law and psychiatry, 39, 52-59.
Matthews, B. L., Harbin, J., & Daigle, J. (2018). The New York Times Versus Amazon: Is Jeff
Bezos’ head still in the clouds?. Journal of Organizational Psychology, 18(3).
Paul, K. (2020). Hundreds of Amazon warehouse workers to call in sick in coronavirus protest.
7
The Guardian.
Pond, S. (2019). Amazon must address warehouse working conditions. The Philadelphia
Inquirer. Retrieved from https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/amazonwarehouse-minimum-wage-labor-20190902.html
Rey, J. D., &Ghaffary, S. (2020). The real cost of Amazon. Vox. Retrieved from
https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/6/29/21303643/amazon-coronavirus-warehouseworkers-protest-jeff-bezos-chris-smalls-boycott-pandemic
Sainato, M. (2019). Revealed: Amazon touts high wages while ignoring issues in its warehouses.
The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/aug/06/
amazon-workers-minimum-wage-injuries-working-conditions
1
Executive Summary: Amazon-Employee Conflict
Yuxin Zong
University of California, Los Angeles
English 131B Specialized Writing: Business and Social Policy
Professor Hitchner
August 17, 2020
2
Background
Corporate sustainability topics have focused on the experiences of employees in the
workplace of Amazon Technology Company. Jeff Bezos established Amazon Technology
Company in 1994 profit from the growing e-commerce business. Since its inception, Amazon
has received criticisms because of its questionable social responsibility that is linked to
employees’ treatment within its workplace (Matthews, Harbin & Daigle, 2018). Specifically,
Amazon has been accused of mistreating its employees hence reducing their welfare, safety, and
satisfaction. Although the good customer service strategy has enabled the company to boost
customer satisfaction and happiness, evidence shows that it has neglected its employees.
Evidence shows that the company subjects its warehouse workers to questionable treatment,
including unsafe working environment, low wages, long working hours, and union blockade.
Amazon’s conflict caught public attention in 2000 when its employees expressed joining
labor unions to address the problem of poor treatment. One labor union targeted the employees
working in the customer service section, who complained of underpayment and long working
hours. However, Amazon reacted to the complaints by suppressing the labor unions by closing
the customer service department (Gunther, 2012). At this time, the company closed its call
centers and dismissed all employees working in this department once it identified their
interaction with the Communication Workers of America Union. Furthermore, the company
launched training and campaigns to facilitate early detection of union organization in its
workplace.
However, the employee dismissal strategy occurred as an inefficient strategy for
concealing its employee mistreatment problem. Although the company has suppressed
unionization processes successfully, its employees have continued to fight for better treatment
(Kopytoff, 2014). In 2011, an investigation conducted by The Morning Call newspaper on the
working conditions at its Pennsylvania warehouse depicted a poor air-conditioning problem. The
investigation indicated that employees working in this warehouse were forced to endure
temperatures reaching 100F. Finally, the increased burden on Amazon employees because of the
Coronavirus pandemic has created unrest in its workplace. Starting in March, the unrest is
characterized by a series of events like public petitions, employee protests, and internal scandals.
In April 2020, Amazon’s warehouse and office employees started a series of protests involving
calling in sick to express their dissatisfaction with poor working conditions at the company
(Paul, 2020). The protests created a situation where hundreds of employees in different
warehouses and offices would call in sick in a single day. Currently, Amazon employees have
received tremendous support from the Amnesty International human rights organization. The
management of the company has responded by randomly firing employees engaged in the
protests.
Major Parties and their Interests
The major parties involved in the conflict are Amazon and its employees in offices and
warehouses located in different countries around the world. The conflict indicates that the
management of Amazon places its interests above those of its employees. Amazon aims to
3
expand and control the global e-commerce business by increasing profitability, increasing its
customer base, and achieving competitiveness. Currently, Amazon is ranked among the five best
retail companies in the world alongside Walmart, Costco, Kroger, and The Home Depot
(Angelovska, 2019). Amazon also occurs as the largest online retail company in the world,
whereby it has maintained competitiveness over Alibaba and eBay. In the second half of the
2010s, the company has generated high revenues annually. In 2019, the company generated
$280.5 billion in revenues and targeted to increase its revenues to $334.7 billion in 2020
(Chaffey , 2020). The company will surpass the projected revenue amount in 2020 because of the
increased online shopping associated with coronavirus pandemic. Notably, Amazon’s market
capitalization reached $1.579 trillion on 12th August 2020 because of increased online shopping
trend (Fox, 2020). Amazon utilizes a regressive labor model to boost profitability, productivity,
and competitive power in the global online shopping business.
The company boosts customer satisfaction by offering them a highly dependable and
available cloud computing platform. The company has also boosted customer confidence and
trust by protecting the integrity and confidentiality of their data. However, its employees feel that
Amazon’s regressive labor model does not integrate their interests. Currently, the company has
over 800,000 employees working in its outlets located in different countries (Au-Yeung, 2020).
The success of the company in the global online retail business is associated with hard work,
commitment, and innovation of its employees. Therefore, employees feel that the company
should appreciate their input by offering them high salaries, better working conditions, job
security, work safety, and compensation. They want more benefits and compensation programs.
Also argued that the company should shun its authoritative strategy of handling workplace issues
such as threats and dismissals.
Positions of Conflicting Parties
Amazon employees have staged the protests to draw their employer’s attention to their
problems, including exhausting work, lower wages, unreliable employment, inequa …
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