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Obama Praises Amazon At One of Its Controversial Warehouses

Unknown Lamer posted about 9 months ago | from the should-have-been-born-a-robot dept.

Businesses 435

theodp writes "In his first term, President Obama was a big booster of indie bookstores. But on Tuesday, the President chose to deliver his speech on Jobs for the Middle Class at one of Amazon's controversial fulfillment centers in Chattanooga, TN. 'Amazon is a great example of what's possible,' said Obama, who also toured the 'amazing facility' where workers can make $10.50-$11.50 an hour as an employee of Integrity Staffing Group, 'may also be eligible for medical and dental benefits', and 'must be able to stand/walk for up to 10-12 hours' in temperatures that 'will occasionally exceed 90 degrees.' So, are '21st century migrant workers' the new middle class?"

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435 comments

"Be content to be slaves" (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44433839)

-Obama, overlord of Earth.

Hope and change the Obummer way! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44433997)

All hail Glorious Leader Obummer!!

Wow - how did this one get approved at /. ??? (5, Insightful)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | about 9 months ago | (#44434081)

It must be a cold day in Hades.

Relentless war which the globalist elites are waging against any possible middle class opposition - CHECK.

Utter hypocrisy of moving employees off-book, into sub-contractor scams, where hours are guaranteed to be less than 30-per-week so as not to qualify for Obamacare - CHECK.

Big-$$$ campaign contributions and other goodies being laundered from Bezos through Gorelick and into the Chicago Machine - CHECK.

Hypocrisy of Martha's Vineyard vacationing politician, who otherwise would love him some indie bookstores, heading to the mother of all vertical bidnesses for a little facetime on the evening newz - CHECK.

What's next, an honest discussion of why Fuckerberg and Ballzmer and L-Word-ison really want all those H1B aliens?

Might be a good day to go long on some snowball contracts in Hell.

Re:"Be content to be slaves" (3, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 9 months ago | (#44434229)

The claims of socialist look dumber by the day.

Obama is just more pro-corporate than Bush, Sr... just a tad less than Bush, Jr.

Re:"Be content to be slaves" (5, Interesting)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 9 months ago | (#44434409)

I think it is simpler than that. He knows that Amazon is popular. He also knows most of the people that support him will not research anything he says and just take what he says at face value.

It's like the Travon thing. He mentions that Travon could have been him when he was younger. He makes these types of racial comments often. Most of the people that I know that support him honestly assume that he struggled and grew up in the deep south (instead of Hawaii) like them.

This appearance makes him look like he is pro-corporate and pro-middle class without actually doing anything but make a speech. And, judging by your post and people I know, he will fool most people.

America the beautiful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44433841)

Well, at least it's not Canada.

Re:America the beautiful (5, Insightful)

ElementOfDestruction (2024308) | about 9 months ago | (#44433917)

Thank God for that. Imagine having a society have to pay for one of these disposable workers to recover from a sick day!

Re:America the beautiful (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 9 months ago | (#44434121)

While the pay might be middling, Amazon warehouse jobs are full time jobs with benefits, including paid leave (and health care, if you have to see a doctor on your sick day).

Re:America the beautiful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434249)

While the pay might be middling

middling: moderate or average in size

thats minimum wage where i live. if you dont make 20 or more, you are no where near average. and thats if you exclude the obscenely wealthy. which would probably raise that by quite a few dollars :)

Re:America the beautiful (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434321)

Too bad they're not Amazon warehouse jobs, they're Integrity Staffing jobs.

Re:America the beautiful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434369)

Nowhere in the job description does it say any of that. In fact it specifically says "There is no guarantee to the length of the assignment". I wouldn't consider that a full time job.

Misleading summary (4, Insightful)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 9 months ago | (#44433849)

So he likes to shop at indie book stores with his daughter, and somehow this makes him a hypocrite by giving a speech at an amazon warehouse? The speech itself wasn't really about books anyway:

In his speech, Obama outlines the areas he believes the country needs to focus on "if we want to create good jobs that pay good wages in durable industries." Among these priorities, listed in order of mention, are: manufacturing and high-tech jobs, infrastructure jobs, and clean energy jobs

Re:Misleading summary (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 9 months ago | (#44433891)

The thing about indie bookstores is largely irrelevant. Choosing to give a speech about 'good jobs that pay good wages in durable industries' in a fulfillment sweatshop that will continue to use expendable temps only so long as robots can't economically handle irregularly shaped packages is... perhaps a bad sign...

Re:Misleading summary (4, Interesting)

stewsters (1406737) | about 9 months ago | (#44434025)

You cant easily track who buys what books at an indie bookstore if they use cash. Amazon purchases are way easier to add to the NSA data.

Re:Misleading summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434201)

You cant easily track who buys what books at an indie bookstore if they use cash. Amazon purchases are way easier to add to the NSA data.

All hail cash!

Re:Misleading summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434063)

Choosing to give a speech about 'good jobs that pay good wages in durable industries' in a fulfillment sweatshop that will continue to use expendable temps only so long as robots can't economically handle irregularly shaped packages is... perhaps a bad sign...

This shows how out of touch with everyday life Obama - and most if not all politicians - seem to be. Whenever they are asked a question about how much a gallon of milk costs or a loaf of bread I always expect a RainMan answer "'Bout a hundred dollars."

Re:Misleading summary (3, Interesting)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 9 months ago | (#44433901)

"Clean energy" jobs require subsidy. 3 other people need jobs elsewhere to pay the taxes for them.

Re:Misleading summary (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#44434021)

..a speech about middle class. that's the kicker, not a speech.

a commie style speech for the working class, sure, that's a good place. but there's a difference even if middle class usually does work.

doctors & lawyers, you're next... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 9 months ago | (#44434279)

I thought the "middle class" used to be the shopkeepers.
You know, the people the Amazons and Walmarts of the world put out of business in the last two decades.

Re:doctors & lawyers, you're next... (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 9 months ago | (#44434357)

No they didn't. The middle class used to be doctors, lawyers and other professionals. Not shop keepers.

Re:Misleading summary (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 9 months ago | (#44434421)

and somehow this makes him a hypocrite by giving a speech at an amazon warehouse?

As if we even need any more reasons why that Fascist-masquerading-as-a-Socialist is a hypocrit. LOL!!!

"Controversial?" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44433871)

I'm seriously failing to see what about these jobs makes them "controversial." The pay and working conditions seem to be completely in line with the type of work it entails. It's certainly better than minimum wage or a true "factory" job (in terms of safety).

Re:"Controversial?" (5, Informative)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 9 months ago | (#44433915)

They're not middle class though, are they? I think that's the point.

What's your boggle, citizen? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44433963)

What are you talking about?

They're decent, honest jobs that pay a fair wage.

That's about as middle class as it gets.

Re:What's your boggle, citizen? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434163)

They're temp workers without benefits, working 12 hour days, and get fired if they make any mistakes or say the wrong thing. Length of employment and available work is not guaranteed, but when there's work you're working overtime. Workers are searched off clock when entering the building, during break, and when they leave. You can't bring anything with you as the shipping center ships everything so how do they know if you're stealing it?

These are shitty, high stress jobs for people near the end of their ropes.

Re:What's your boggle, citizen? (4, Insightful)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 9 months ago | (#44434275)

These are shitty, high stress jobs for people near the end of their ropes.

Ah, so these are the new middle class American jobs!

Re:What's your boggle, citizen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434167)

I work at a store, retail, as a night shift manager. In retail, that's a pretty chunk of money; in the real world that money also places me and my family below the poverty level. We are a single income family, because around here it is rather hard to find meaningful work, therefore my wife stays home and cares for the house and children.

Before I came to work at my store, I was privately employed, in a $60k, 12-15hour per day job, and we didn't need my wife to work. That business failed because I failed to adapt. Yes, I failed.

I am also working on my CS degree in the off hours in order to bring us out of our situation.

TLDR;
People do what they have to do to survive. Is it fair? No. Life isn't fair. Some of us made our own situation come to be. Some of us, well, we do the best we can. In my experience, there are even those who have a few extra bucks in the bank, aren't completely happy with what they have.

Re:What's your boggle, citizen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434371)

People do what they have to do to survive. Is it fair? No. Life isn't fair. Some of us made our own situation come to be. Some of us, well, we do the best we can. In my experience, there are even those who have a few extra bucks in the bank, aren't completely happy with what they have.

This. We've become a society where our first reaction is to complain about being treated unfairly, instead of assessing the situation, coming up with a plan to improve things, and putting in the hard work to make it happen. It's refreshing to see there are still people out there who aren't willing to wait for a better life to come to them.

Re:What's your boggle, citizen? (5, Informative)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 9 months ago | (#44434185)

$10.50-$11.50 per hour works out to be around $21k-$24k a year on average, given a full 40-hour work-week. That's hardly middle class. It's actually much closer to the Census Bureau's defined poverty threshold [census.gov]. If the worker is the head of a traditional 4-person family, it actually puts him/her at or below the poverty line.

Inflated expectations leads to disappointment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434407)

Well, you cannot raise a family of four on $12/hour.

But that's not Amazon's fault. The work isn't worth any more than $12/hour. If you raised the price of labor to $20/hour, then Amazon would use more automation.

If a worker is only capable of getting a minimum wage job and wants to raise children, they'd better hope their spouse can work as well.

But as far as these jobs being "controversial"? Not even a little.

Re:What's your boggle, citizen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434255)

What are you talking about?

They're decent, honest jobs that pay a fair wage.

That's about as middle class as it gets.

No, actually it's not. I'm not sure where you live, but $11.50 an hour is not even close to middle class in most places.

Re:What's your boggle, citizen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434273)

Yep, I'm sure someone there is making good money letting cots in a room out to the employees so they're not homeless. China-style middle class, coming to America!

Do you know what a middle class job is? (5, Insightful)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 9 months ago | (#44434333)

What are you talking about?

They're decent, honest jobs that pay a fair wage.

That's about as middle class as it gets.

Ummm, no. Physical working conditions are certainly great, but Amazon fulfillment warehouses are notoriously known for driving workers into a state of constant terror due to managerial abuse. A middle class job used to imply a sort of shielding from such things (not totally but certainly more than what you would see and still see at a minimum wage fast food joint.)

Middle class doesn't imply that anymore. And $10-$12 an hour is $24K. That is not below what is typically considered a low-end middle class salary. $24K was middle class twenty years ago. Not anymore. They are just above the limit that forces people to use social services.

I'm not saying these jobs are decent or honest (and thank God they are not Walmart salaries.) Any job with salaries above the poverty line is better than no job or poverty-line job, anytime, any day. And I'm not saying that for the type of job being performed, these are not fair wages. They are.

But let us not call them middle class wages. They are not. The rising cost of living, education and health care, and the continuous shift towards replacing full-time workers with part-time workers (or contractors) have pretty much made sure a $12/h job is not a middle class job anymore.

Re:What's your boggle, citizen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434441)

Except they're really NOT middle class jobs.

10.50 an hour is 420 a week, or 21,320 per year. Before taxes.

In what fucking universe is less than half of the median US income "middle class"? Sure, i's a livable wage, if you're single or newly married and living in Chattanooga, driving a cheap car, etc, but it's still not what I would really call middle class. Working class is absolutely the more appropriate term to use for this position.

Sorry if that offends you, but that's the truth.

Re:"Controversial?" (1)

jameshofo (1454841) | about 9 months ago | (#44434091)

Controversial or not its not a permanent position

"Integrity Staffing places qualified candidates to work on assignments at Amazon Warehouses on a temporary basis. Assignments vary in length. There is no guarantee to the length of the assignment. Length of employment is based on client’s business needs which can change."

Re:"Controversial?" (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#44434211)

It's certainly better than minimum wage

Color me unimpressed. Adjusted for inflation the 1968 minimum wage would be $10.50 [oregonstate.edu], and that doesn't even take into account that the US inflation adjusted GDP per capita has doubled since 1968 [stlouisfed.org]. Doesn't seem to me like that money is trickling down.

or a true "factory" job (in terms of safety)

The 19th century is over. Most factory jobs aren't all that dangerous.

Re:"Controversial?" (2)

interval1066 (668936) | about 9 months ago | (#44434271)

It's certainly better than minimum wage or a true "factory" job (in terms of safety).

The "factory" jobs you referr classically have paid $20-30/hr (and that was over the last decade). 12/hr may be a livable wage in TN but here in California they're paying fast food workers that much and they still need to live in communal tenements/multiple earner arraingements. Only migrants do these jobs. Seems like the war on the middle class is mostly successful out here.

"in line with the type of work it entails" (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about 9 months ago | (#44434349)

Oh, I agree those wages are common. But that's part of the problem.

I worked in a warehouse in the summers when I was in college - grocery warehouse. That was... cripes, about twenty years ago. I made $9/hr, which was pretty good for the time. I wasn't trying to raise a family or anything on that, though; just help pay some tuition and books and stuff. Tuition was (much) lower then, the student loan rates were lower, etc.

Now, if the wages had kept pace with inflation, they'd be making over $14.50/hr [bls.gov]. So they're actually making less in real terms than I did.

Along those lines, here's some food - so to speak - for thought: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/mcdonalds-salaries_n_3672006.html [huffingtonpost.com]

1st (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44433877)

in the new normal

Keep up the selfishness.. (4, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about 9 months ago | (#44433913)

Keep up the selfishness... Keep buying the cheapest crap from the cheapest place possible, without regard for where you're spending your money, and this is what you get. After all, there's "free shipping", right?

Welcome to the another manifestation of the culture of "I've got mine. Fuck you."

Re:Keep up the selfishness.. (3, Insightful)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 9 months ago | (#44433929)

I'll buy the same book more cheaply at Amazon if I can, thank you. I value my pay cheque.

Re:Keep up the selfishness.. (4, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about 9 months ago | (#44433975)

Exactly.

"I've got mine. Fuck you."

Re:Keep up the selfishness.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434035)

The American Dream.

Fuck you if you can't make it.

how long did you hold that to your chest? (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 9 months ago | (#44434377)

The American Dream.

Fuck you if you can't make it.

As if that has not been the norm in other parts of the world since the beginning of time.

The reality is that the American Dream is not what it used to be, but it is certainly a much better alternative for a lot of folks in other countries. I'm not saying that we do not have a problem, but it is not one unique of this country, and it is far more fixable than what other countries are facing right now - think Greece, Spain, France or take your pick of any country in Latin America (where I'm from) or Africa.

Re:Keep up the selfishness.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434451)

Exactly.

"I've got mine. Fuck you."

Why the hell should some quaint bookstore owner be entitled to a thriving business when he hasn't innovated a bit, in fact all he really does is mark up what he buys cheaply from a factory and makes sure the place smells "booky". We tolerate middlemen for only so long, and then it's innovate or GTFO. It has been this way since the country was founded, and we stole it from the merchant class of Europe who invented it some 500 years prior. "I've got mine, fuck you" is called capitalism and if you don't "get it" feel free to move to Bolivia or Greece where they would welcome you with open arms, into their despair.

Re: Keep up the selfishness.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434045)

This is a fulfillment center which exists to get something from manufacturer A to consumer B. the only jobs it "took away" were due to inefficiencies in the transportation market.

Now the person or company that makes a product can either get more profit or sell more items as there isn't an inefficiency tax.

Re:Keep up the selfishness.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434157)

Buying at the best (that is the lowest... but only if you are the buyer!) price is not "selfisness" my dear, it's just the way people can control who gets helped with their (spare - if they manage to buy cheap) money - and what is "crap" for you for others may be something good enough for the price.

Re:Keep up the selfishness.. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#44434303)

Welcome to the another manifestation of the culture of "I've got mine. Fuck you."

You know, the sad thing is since everyone's employers are fucking them over and making them part of this grand middle class which makes $10.50-$11.50/hour (or driving down wages through the use of H1Bs to try to move us there)... nobody has any money left to spend extra on buying things which support local businesses.

So at the end of the day if it comes down to stretching my dollars as far as I can ... well, fuck trying to make the world a better place. The book is cheaper, and I didn't pay shipping.

At the end of the day it's "I'm barely hanging onto mine, fuck the world". In this giant race to the bottom that is globalization, most if us are just trying to stay on the rung we're at.

And, yes, I'm aware that in the long run that's a lousy strategy, but in the long run, it looks like we're all fucked anyway. Wal Mart and Amazon are evil corporations, and I know that, but at the end of the day I still need to look out for my own shit. And if they can save me some money on what I'm buying that I can use for something else ... well, it's hard to overlook that.

Re:Keep up the selfishness.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434307)

or "i've got my temp job that isnt guaranteed to be there next payday, so i'm fucked," its obscene that wages are flat, profits are way up, and unemployment is high. a race to the bottom for workers, all the while shareholders demanding high returns and get them.

Re: Keep up the selfishness.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434361)

First I believe Amazon is good place to work. Do people at Walmart get benefits like Amazon for similar jobs?

Second, Amazon doesn't offer cheap goods because of poor wages. They actually are above industry standard for pay and offer amazing benefits, so they actually have a fairly high cost per employee. They offer low price because of extremely low margins, they lose money on a lot of items they sell, and reduced inefficiencies in supply chain management.

So if you want better jobs for that segment of the economic shop at Amazon over Walmart or Best Buy.

Re:Keep up the selfishness.. (1)

orthancstone (665890) | about 9 months ago | (#44434367)

After all, there's "free shipping", right?

You ignore the fact that many of these centers also exist to move product from Warehouse A to Warehouse B. If you believe these places exist only because of "free shipping," you are poorly informed.

Re:Keep up the selfishness.. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#44434397)

When you're talking about non-necessities, you do have a point. But on the other hand, if buying more shit is the only thing keeping people on the productive side of depression, then it may well be a necessity.

God credits (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44433931)

I have credit for designing a 3AXIS milling machine, mechanical, electirical and software.
I made SimStructure
I made an operating system.

God is perfectly just.

God says...

C:\TAD\Text\WEALTH.TXT

twelve ounces of fine silver.
About the middle of the last century, it came to be regulated, between
the proportions of one to fourteen and one to fifteen; that is, an ounce
of fine gold came to be supposed worth between fourteen and fifteen
ounces of fine silver. Gold rose in its nominal value, or in the
quantity of silver which was given for it. Both metals sunk in their
real value, or in the quantity of labour which they could purchase; but
silver sunk more than gold. Though both the gold and sil

Middle Class (5, Insightful)

tdp252 (519328) | about 9 months ago | (#44433959)

The Middle-Class is being redefined as people who can afford basic necessities like food, shelter, clothing and medicine. Want money to enjoy life beyond that? Tough luck!

Re:Middle Class (2)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 9 months ago | (#44434123)

The Middle-Class is being redefined as people who can afford basic necessities like food, shelter, clothing and medicine.

The New American Dream.

Wait til they get around to installing Kiva robots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44433967)

Robots don't need medical benefits.

Seriously, is this supposed to be controversial? Barnes and Noble has been accused of putting indie booksellers out of business too. And indie booksellers aren't exactly the job creating engines of the 21st century.

Woah, wait a minute... (5, Insightful)

Svenia (3001819) | about 9 months ago | (#44433979)

When did ~$24k gross a year become middle class? Did I miss a memo or have I been living in fantasy land? (11.50 per hour * 40 hours per week * 52 weeks)

Re:Woah, wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434073)

It all depends on location. In my part of the country, that's the lower end of middle class. You can have the house with the white picket fence for that. Middle class homes start at $40k. The poor people houses start at $5k...

That said, even the unskilled manufacturing jobs around here pay more than that. $13.50/hr is the standard now...

Re:Woah, wait a minute... (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 9 months ago | (#44434387)

It all depends on location. In my part of the country, that's the lower end of middle class. You can have the house with the white picket fence for that. Middle class homes start at $40k. The poor people houses start at $5k...

That said, even the unskilled manufacturing jobs around here pay more than that. $13.50/hr is the standard now...

True that, but with the population shifts moving to more urbane (and thus, more costly) areas, what you are describing is - quite sadly - not the American norm anymore. We live in truly dysfunctional times.

Re:Woah, wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434129)

Since that's roughly 1/2 household median income, I'd say that pretty squarely qualifies as middle class in most of the country.

Re:Woah, wait a minute... (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 9 months ago | (#44434383)

Since that's roughly 1/2 household median income, I'd say that pretty squarely qualifies as middle class in most of the country.

Squarely? More like barely.

Re:Woah, wait a minute... (2)

mmcxii (1707574) | about 9 months ago | (#44434165)

You don't understand. It's easier to make up a new definition to fit the conditions than it is to have the conditions fit the current definition.

And in this way if they do raise the minimum wage they can have all kinds of nifty headlines that show that the middle class has been bolstered to higher numbers than we've since the 70s.

Obama isn't a Democrat (4, Interesting)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#44433981)

He's like all politicians, just a Corporatist who happens to have either a "D" or "R" after his name.

Re:Obama isn't a Democrat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434325)

America is corporatist. If don't toe the "businesses are sacred" and "entrepreneurs are the ubermensch" lines, you're branded a heretic. Quality of life and person are based on nothing more than your ability to generate excess profit for the ruling class.

Re:Obama isn't a Democrat (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#44434329)

Actual Democrats are an endangered species. Come to think of it, reasonable Republicans are pretty rare too. I like Ike, but these days he'd be considered a raving pinko.

Re:Obama isn't a Democrat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434347)

Good! Let's sit back and flame Obama from the right ("Muslim socialist") and left (Snowden) with random political bits.

Re:Obama isn't a Democrat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434351)

So he's a democrat.

They'd be better off (0)

Chrisq (894406) | about 9 months ago | (#44433985)

...one of Amazon's controversial fulfillment centers in Chattanooga ... workers can make $10.50-$11.50 an hour as an employee of Integrity Staffing Group,

They'd be better off as shoe-shine boys on track 29

No suit 'n tie - Blue Collar (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 9 months ago | (#44433999)

There is no Middle Class anymore. Since the Middle Class stopped wearing suits and settled for business casual, everybody became Blue Collar.

Re:No suit 'n tie - Blue Collar (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 9 months ago | (#44434031)

There is no Middle Class anymore. Since the Middle Class stopped wearing suits and settled for business casual, everybody became Blue Collar.

The idea of Middle Class has changed through history. Originally it was applied to factory owners, who came between the "landed gentry" and the plebeians.

Each generation raises it's parents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434247)

What one generation does, the next undoes, and the next does again...

The idea of Middle Class hasn't existed for most of history, only briefly between the 50 year period of the 1940's to the 1990's.

This generation's great grandparents fought hard against management, forming unions, making and following through with physical threats, etc... all to win the right to be paid a fair day's wage for a fair day's work. Their children being raised in this "lap of luxury", our parents, had no respect for the struggle their parents went though to earn that quality of life. When their time came to work they fought vehemently against taxes so they could keep even more of their wealth, and when they got to management they lowered wages and broke the unions their parents built, all to further increase their personal wealth at the expense of their peers.

Those spoiled brats ripped down their parent's grand creation to sell for scrap value to grant themselves slightly more temporary wealth, and as a result we, their children, are faced with the same situation our grandparents found themselves in almost 100 years ago.

We will rebuild, but this time there will be an eternal digital record such that our children might look back and see what we went though to earn their quality of life, and hopefully they will not take their wealth for granted the way our parents did.

Re:Each generation raises it's parents. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#44434417)

When [our parents] time came to work they fought vehemently against taxes so they could keep even more of their wealth, and when they got to management they lowered wages and broke the unions their parents built, all to further increase their personal wealth at the expense of their peers.

Generalize much?

Also, not everybody's parents are from the same generation.

good high wage jobs (2, Insightful)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 9 months ago | (#44434061)

Funny how hard it is to live on one of these 'good, high wage jobs'. Working in tech obviously I'm used to high compensation for my time, but I've done military, machining, making packaging for frozen dinners, etc etc. It's funny how the more physically demanding the job is the harder they want you to work to have to joy of keeping your job while at the same time paying you 1/4th what you make with a desk job. There is a skill difference in the work obviously but I don't think anyone should go home after a 40+ hr week with too little money to live. You can get by on 11 in the burbs but what if your job is in the city? Somehow Starbucks employees are just supposed to "get by". Getting by usually means 25+ year olds still living with their parents because their full time job isn't enough to be able to afford a place of their own.

Funny how Walmart offered suggestions on budgeting recently that excluded the cost of heating (don't remember if transportation was on there or not, but heck bus both ways to a 5 day a week job will probably run you $80 a month at least so you'd be working for your first day and a half of the month just to get to work).

Re:good high wage jobs (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 9 months ago | (#44434435)

There is a skill difference in the work obviously but I don't think anyone should go home after a 40+ hr week with too little money to live.

What are you, some kind of communist?

;-)

People Need to Get Over Themselves (-1, Flamebait)

lazarus (2879) | about 9 months ago | (#44434075)

Seriously. I sold dew worms to fishermen for a year to buy my first computer (which I had to solder together myself). I taught myself to program, got hired to train other people, worked at solution delivery for a while, moved into architecture, then management, and now I'm the 1% that people complain about.

Everybody wants it all but doesn't want to work for it. Guess what? It doesn't work that way. Bitching and whining about what you don't have and how others have it all and how come you don't blah blah blah won't cut it. You have to work hard. While I was building my first computer my house didn't even have running water.

Ask me if I'm sympathetic.

Re:People Need to Get Over Themselves (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434147)

I sold dew worms to fishermen for a year to buy my first computer

And now you can't even buy a cup of coffee with what you'd get from doing that.

Everybody wants it all but doesn't want to work for it. Guess what? It doesn't work that way

You're right, the people who have it all don't work for it, they've already got it and now they spend their days on the golf course making the hard decisions of which division to amputate in order to make this quarter's numbers look good enough for a bonus.

Re:People Need to Get Over Themselves (2)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 9 months ago | (#44434203)

You have to work hard.

If working hard was all it took their would be far fewer people complaining.

Re:People Need to Get Over Themselves (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434219)

Assume for a moment, everyone has the same ambition as you, and works their way into management. Who's left to do non-management tasks?

Not everyone can be on top, therefore its a fair expectation that people not on top should still be able to make a decent wage.

Its not about lack of drive or ambition or skill. Its about not fucking over your fellow humans just because you can.

Re:People Need to Get Over Themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434237)

More people need to hear these stories. A majority of the 1% i know are like you. If the other side wants to play we emotion then the only way to level with them is emotion.

Re:People Need to Get Over Themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434289)

Selling dew worms without a license is now a federal crime.

Re:People Need to Get Over Themselves (1)

geekymachoman (1261484) | about 9 months ago | (#44434305)

So what ? Not everybody in life travels the same road between point A and B. While I agree that you need to work hard, there's luck, chance and coincidence involved as well. Many people are also living in environments where they're talent and ability will get wasted.

Nobody is bitching and whining how they don't' have and others have. They're wining about the decline of middle class / shittier standard of living.

AFAIK, Middle class was never 26400 usd a year, walking/standing 11 hours a day on 30 degrees C. That's not a job, that's modern slavery.
You have for basic expenses, food, housing (forget about owning anything, property can't own) and two days off.

You should be sympathetic, because some of these people, maybe not "successful" financially, but they worked more than you have.
A bit of humility wouldn't hurt as well.

Re:People Need to Get Over Themselves (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434315)

Congratulations, self-made superstar! You grew up in a time of amazing opportunity. Care to wager on how that situation would play out today?

A word of warning: The ladder you climbed has been pulled up by you self-made types, convinced that it wasn't needed.

Re:People Need to Get Over Themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434343)

Why on the fucking earth do you need to "work hard" to have a decent basic living ?
We live in an era of robots and amazing machines and computers and excess food production, why is it that people obsessed with becoming rich and have a lot more than they need are also obsessed with making all other's people lives miserable ?
Not everybody wants to become rich famous and powerful. Most people just want a decent life, and America is rich enough for that.
What is wrong with you people ?

who really works there (1, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 9 months ago | (#44434133)

I worked for $8/hr at a graphics company on top a heat press in July without air conditioning and had to stand up for 8 hours straight with one crappy break and very little water when I was 18. Guess who I worked with from the staffing agency? People with criminal records. People who were chain smokers. People with gambling problems. People who had been divorced 3 times. And I guarantee, people who didn't have college degrees. So if you make stupid life choices, you end up at a crap job like that. As for me, someone else made the job sound better than it was and made a referral commission and I only worked there 1 month lol.

Obama hates America (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434169)

Plain and simple: Obama is turning America into a third world nation.

  I guess that's one way to help us export more and import less. Except he's also making it more and more difficult for any jobs to even be filled by Americans.

It's less simply more like he just wants to destroy Americans of every class and replace Americans with people actually from other countries. Thank god we can of course trust him. So we are walking into nice pretty shower facilities...err that we aren't walking out of.

Re:Obama hates America (4, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#44434365)

Plain and simple: Obama is turning America into a third world nation.

Don't give him too much credit - he has plenty of help.

Fu3ke6r (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44434215)

However I do8't philosophies must

$11.50 an hour... (4, Insightful)

__Paul__ (1570) | about 9 months ago | (#44434225)

...is not middle fucking class.

No, it's not, and it's a shame. (5, Insightful)

sirwired (27582) | about 9 months ago | (#44434405)

You are correct; $11.50 an hour is not middle-class. However, that no-benefit salary is usually enough to make you ineligible for things like Medicaid (even though you aren't buying jack-$hit in medical care on that paycheck) or a Public Defender if you are accused of a crime.

It's a tragedy that a productive member of society that is fulfilling his/her end of the "social contract" still cannot obtain the things we would expect every civilized nation to make sure it's citizens have access to.

I fail to find the controversy. (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 9 months ago | (#44434299)

First of all, it's a warehouse job on the floor. If you are working out on the floor: It's going to be hot. It's going to be long hours of physical activity. Complaining about these things is like complaining that farm jobs involve touching dirt (oh no!) or that waitress positions are not glamorous positions.

Second, the warehouse jobs on the floor making 10-11.5 is quite high. I don't know about you but I don't expect it to make $100,000 a year especially for a temporary position. Management and staff positions might make more however these are not mentioned or considered.

Integrity Staffing places qualified candidates to work on assignments at Amazon Warehouses on a temporary basis. Assignments vary in length. There is no guarantee to the length of the assignment. Length of employment is based on client’s business needs which can change.

Third, Amazon sells more than books unless you haven't been paying attention. Mentioning indie bookstores does what exactly? Can I get diapers in bulk at my local indie bookstore?

Maybe the better point is how the President could do more assertive things for the country like in this op-ed piece [huffingtonpost.com] rather complaining at a faux controversy.

How is this controversial? (4, Insightful)

sirwired (27582) | about 9 months ago | (#44434337)

I don't see anything controversial about the warehouse. It's hot (or cold) unskilled manual labor. It pays above minimum wage, but like most jobs with unskilled labor, pays no benefits. They do not do so because it would not provide them with any competitive advantage vs. other fulfillment companies.

Breaking the "race to the bottom" to make sure you won't starve to death and have access to things like basic medical care when you are a productive member of society (fulfilling your end of the "social contract") is arguably a useful thing for government to do.

The most conservative president in history... (2, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 9 months ago | (#44434415)

... is praising a very conservative employer. Why are we surprised by this? Obama has done more for the conservative movement than Reagan ever could have dreamed of. He gives lots of lip service to raising minimum wage, reducing tax burden on the lowest income brackets, making health care and education more accessible, etc; but his actions counter those promises. He has cut taxes more than Reagan, he has reduced government more than Reagan, we have seen union membership continue to plummet even more quickly than it did under Reagan, and we have seen college tuition rise even more than it did under Reagan. On top of all that minimum wage hasn't increased anywhere near as much as inflation, while employers have continued to amass more power over their employees.

I don't know why anyone is surprised to see Obama praising the Amazon warehouse. It cuts jobs and neglects the value of employees; those are classic conservative values. And don't try to claim that the massive health insurance industry bailout act (aka "ObamaCare") is somehow not a conservative act; Reagan would have crapped himself with excitement over signing a bill into law that forces average Americans to become consumers of for-profit businesses.
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