Amazon's history of anti-worker behaviour has not gone unnoticed. However, the online shopping company still continues to make decisions to oppress its massive workforce. In a new development, the company is working on a bespoke Amazon worker messaging app that is already proving to be controversial.
Reported by Intercept, the in-development messaging app is being designed specifically to limit worker communication. With the company now dealing with its first unionised Amazon warehouse, limits are being imposed to try and prevent another
How the Amazon worker messaging app oppresses employees
Amazon's internal messaging app is currently planned to block multiple words that the company dislikes. The majority of these words relate to poor working conditions, unionism, and other Amazon controversies.
For example, the messaging app’s banned words list includes the following: “Union,” “restrooms” “pay raise,” “plantation,” “slave labor,” “diversity,” and more. Other banned phrases include “this sounds dumb” or “this is concerning”. Of course, profanities will also be banned. See below for a list of banned words.
The Amazon worker messaging app is an extension of the company's long-running plans to create an internal social platform. Amazon aims to use the finalised platform to praise employees with “Shout Outs” and attempt to gamify work. Additionally, the service could result in increased productivity.
Currently, the internal service may never release, especially in its current oppressive form. However, if it does release, the Amazon worker messaging app could become a horrid reality for employees of the company.
In the Intercept article, Amazon spokesperson Barbara M. Agrait responded to the report of the internal messaging app. Agrait explained that the service detailed in the report may not release, but they did not deny its existence.
“Our teams are always thinking about new ways to help employees engage with each other,” Agrait told the outlet. “This particular program has not been approved yet and may change significantly or even never launch at all.”
Intercept explained that some Amazon executives believe that the massive censorship will be good for the company. Amazon’s head of worldwide consumer business, Dave Clark reportedly told company officials that it will ensure a “positive community”.