Amazon has been using the stories of fired warehouse employees who committed theft in video clips as it attempts to dissuade current employees from stealing from the company, according to a report from Bloomberg. The company plays video clips on a flatscreen TV in its warehouses describing when and what former employees stole, and how much the items were worth.
The clips don't give the name or description of the fired workers, instead featuring black silhouettes tagged with the word "terminated" or "arrested." In warehouses without flatscreen TVs, the stories are printed out and put on physical bulletin boards or taped to the wall.
“I think that’s offensive.”
Bloomberg interviewed 11 current and former employees at Amazon who said the practice has been going on for some time, and while some weren't bothered by it, some thought it was a step too far. “That’s a weird way to go about scaring people,” former Amazon employee James McCracken told Bloomberg. “I think that’s offensive.” Several of Bloomberg's sources said an employee was even fired for stealing a co-worker’s lunch in a clip.
While employee theft is a serious problem for corporations like Amazon — it costs American retailers about $42 billion a year — this approach gives credence to the widely held perception that Amazon is the worst major tech company to work for, from its numerous warehouse issues all the way up to the ridiculous standards at its Seattle headquarters.