Amazon Case Study
Amazon functions as a multinational conglomerate company and is acknowledged as one of the world’s biggest online retailers. Amazon’s mission statement affirms that they aim “to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online”, which is evident to be somewhat successful due to the rates ranging between 2.9 to 4.3 stars from numerous online reviews. Despite Amazon’s depiction of being a successful and friendly company, Amazon has been converged with many ethical dilemmas. These intricacies involve Amazon’s unethical behaviours towards worker’s rights and their ability to complete their environmental reports efficiently. Therefore, Amazon fundamentally focuses on its customers and services rather than the conditions of their work environment and the business itself, hence resulting in many ethical dilemmas.
In order to adroitly operate Amazon, all employees are obligated to conduct their jobs in a dynamic and efficient manner. Nevertheless, there have been numerous instances whereby Amazon’s employees have stepped forth and harangued about Amazon’s response to how employees are treated. According to CNET (2019), there have been manifold incidents reported where Amazon’s employees have been discriminated due to their pregnancies. This can be evident through a former Amazon worker, Rosales, who stated that 'They need as many people that don't need accommodations to work there. They care more about the numbers than their employees'. She allegedly reported Amazon on the basis of not fulfilling her needs as she was pregnant and required longer bathroom break. According to BBC News (2019), Amazon has been involved in seven legal cases that involve dealing with employees’ pregnancies. This demonstrates Amazon’s lack of duty of care towards their employees and is seen as one of the major ethical issues as they only focus on their business operations and not on their workers.
However, Amazon had responded to CNET by saying that they do not monitor the length of bathroom breaks. Amazon additionally, responded to BBC News (2019) stating, 'It is absolutely not true that Amazon would fire any employee for being pregnant. We are an equal opportunity employer.” Aforementioned, some have been able to return back to work without any issues, whereas others did not obtain their job in Amazon.
Despite all these allegations against them, Amazon is also contemplated to be one of the most hazardous places to work. According to The Guardian (2018), it divulges that Amazon are treating their employees as robots. Within the article, it asserted that “ambulances had been called out 600 times to the online retailer’s UK warehouses in the past three years”. Consequently, it is evident through the GMB Union, who revealed that three dealt with pregnancies and another three dealt with significant trauma. Therefore, due to the high demand for medical attention, it is perceived as one of the most important ethical issue that demands a lot of concentration. Once this proclamation was released, Amazon was quick to respond by saying “Requests for ambulance services at our fulfilment centres are predominantly associated with personal health events and are not work-related”. There not enough sufficient evidence to state that Amazon’s working condition is below the employment standard, hence, making it an ethical issue and the laws governing the labour force cannot intervene.
Environmental reports ensures that organisations consider their impacts on environmental issues, and enables them to be transparent about their risks and opportunity. Although environmental reports are voluntary, it is still mandatory for some companies to complete the reports. Within Amazon’s sustainability report (2019), Amazon did not provide information on the impacts of electronic products or textiles used in their clothing. Amazon moreover does not information on toxic chemicals, despite the fact that the manufacture of clothing often releases hazardous substances that impact the environment. Especially for cleaning, beauty and personal care products, Amazon release a restricted substance list of chemicals but stated “all brands should work to phase out and eliminate”. However, they did not eliminate the hazardous chemicals at all. As a result of the fraudulent claims and statements about by Amazon, is recognised as an ethical issue and accordingly not a criminal act as the environmental reports are not obligations that Amazon are required to fulfil.
Shareholders of Amazon are impact to an extent when dealing with these matter as they morally view it is as being wrong to mistreat workers as Amazon is violating the basic human rights and technically not providing essential working conditions. However, some shareholders are not impacted as they do not agonise on the operation of the business but alternatively is more concerned about the profits earned. The environmental reporting enables communication between the business and the about the impacts of business on the environment. The environment reporting impacts the shareholders as it informs them about how Amazon is managing the issues and how they contribute to ecological and sustainable development.
Finally, it can be concluded that although Amazon is perceived to be one of the most prosperous online retailers, many issues emerge within the business operation. These ethical issues extend from the treatment towards their employees to their impact on the environment. Hence, Amazon reputations is constantly viewed down upon as a result of the lack of attention towards their dilemmas.
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