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Vice's Motherboard writer: Amazon's proposed algorithm for workers' schedules will prolong injuries

Edward Ongweso Jr., a staff writer at Vice’s Motherboard, said Thursday that Amazon founder and incoming executive chairman Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosThe tax code's Achilles' heel is surprisingly popular — and that's a problem for taxing the rich Overnight Energy: Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West | White House leads opposition to raising gas tax | Biden taps ex-New Mexico lawmaker for USDA post On The Money: Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle | White House rules out gas tax hike MORE’s proposed plan of shifting workers around based on muscle use will not effectively prevent injuries in warehouses. 

Ongweso told Hill.TV’s “Rising” that the plans, which Bezos shared in his last letter to shareholders as CEO earlier this month, include using algorithms to shuffle workers around different warehouse stations based on the muscle-tendon groups they are primarily using. 

While Bezos outlined the plans as a way to help prevent injuries amid the fast pace and intensity of work at Amazon warehouses, the Motherboard reporter said it will likely only make sure employees “don’t get hurt all at once, and it just builds up over time, essentially.” 

“Amazon… in and of itself has a sort of churn rate that it needs to happen,” Ongweso explained.  “That churn rate prevents union organizing, that churn rate prevents work agitation, that churn rate prevents solidarity among workers and it’s key to this atomized workplace that Bezos has innovated.” 

He went on to say that should Amazon implement the proposed scheduling algorithm, workers are “still going to be doing back-breaking and grueling labor every day, all day. The difference is it’s just going to target different muscle groups.” 

Watch part of Ongweso’s interview above.