Amazon has been a major target of labor unions over the years.
The official narrative of labor unions is that they exist to help and protect workers. Yet, there are far too many cases of labor unions trying to force workers to join them. In other cases, labor unions have taken left-wing stances on issues that go against the belief of many blue-collar workers.
Very recently, the Amazon Labor Union succeeded in getting warehouse workers to join them. However, this may be a short-lived victory, especially when it comes to the future of workers in Amazon warehouses.
Automation Takes Over?
Earlier this month, Amazon formally announced the arrival of the company robot known as Sparrow. The duties of Sparrow will entail pinpointing, choosing, and managing inventory products.
Of course, it goes without saying that these tasks can easily be performed by human workers, albeit at a greater expense to Amazon. In the long run, the company will further preserve its bottom line by automating tasks, even if this comes at the expense of much-needed jobs.
Meet Sparrow. Amazon’s new intelligent robotic system that streamlines the fulfillment process by moving individual products before they get packaged, announced today at our #DeliveringTheFuture event: https://t.co/gbDj6fUi8o pic.twitter.com/0O3D4DgSa8
— Amazon Science (@AmazonScience) November 10, 2022
Naturally, Amazon’s announcement of Sparrow tried to put a positive spin on what will certainly have negative impacts on blue-collar workers.
According to the corporation, Sparrow is all about “innovation” and “sophisticated technology” coming to the aid of workers already on the beat. Amazon also made a point of noting that Sparrow is about “delivering the future.”
A Bleak Future For Workers?
Amazon is not an outlier when it comes to embracing automation that will undoubtedly replace human workers. Companies like Chipotle and BurgerFi have also been reported as using robots for various tasks like making food and taking food to customers.
Amazon’s roll-out of Sparrow following the success of labor unions with company workers sends a very clear message. At the end of the day, the corporation is alright with letting go of workers who executives deem to be more trouble than they are worth.
I’m in Massachusetts looking at Amazon’s new Sparrow robot picking arm, which the company says can recognize and pick up 65% of the 100 million different items on its website. pic.twitter.com/E9iP1GqowT
— Theo Wayt (@theo_wayt) November 10, 2022
Amazon will not explicitly state this, but the writing is on the wall for folks who pay attention. After all, this corporation in particular has worked mightily to steer clear of unions for quite some time.
In the long run, unions attempting to force themselves into the work lives of employees may regret it. If more large companies start replacing workers with robots like Sparrow, unions will not have many workers left to turn on.