Shop til they drop: the play that takes us inside an Amazon warehouse
Using testimonies from anonymous workers, a new Edinburgh show explores what it’s like to work for the world’s richest company. Its creators takes us on a fact-finding tour
A black box floats beneath our feet, containing a barrel of whey protein, 24 cans of Monster Energy and a Winnie the Pooh toy. It disappears through metal grates to be sorted, packed and sent off for next-day delivery. At 700,000 square feet, Amazon’s warehouse in Rugeley, Staffordshire, is roughly the size of 10 football pitches. By the time the box has crossed into the teeming tangle of conveyor belts, we’ve moved down one of the endlessly stretching walkways. There’s more than an echo of the corridors from The Shining – only these are meticulously colour-coded.
Over the last decade, Amazon, the most valuable company in the world, has repeatedly been criticised for allegedly monstrous working conditions. Jobs have been described as damaging to mental and physical health, with reports of workers walking up to 15 miles daily, of breaks too short, pay too low and overtime compulsory. (Speaking about its employees, Amazon recently told the Guardian: “We work hard to ensure they are provided a safe, comfortable, and modern work environment.”)Continue reading...