In the past year of the pandemic, Amazon has added more than 500,000 jobs, mostly in its various warehouses. During the same period, more than 20,000 of its frontline workers tested positive for Covid-19. Their boss, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, saw his net worth rise by $67 billion. Amazon’s shadow extends beyond the warehouses, though, to the cardboard factories that supply its packaging, the local stores it’s crowded out, and the affordable housing that’s flipped to luxury condos near its headquarters. In his new book, Fulfillment, ProPublica reporter Alec MacGillis uses Amazon as a frame to chronicle the widening gap between winner-take-all-cities and the regions left behind.
Go beyond the episode:
- Alec MacGillis’s Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America
- Read his piece in The New York Times, “Amazon and the Breaking of Baltimore”
- German novelist Heike Geissler worked at an Amazon fulfillment center to make ends meet—and wrote about the brutal experience in her novel Seasonal Associate
- Learn more about the high-stakes fight for a union at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama; ballots are due for the first-ever warehouse-wide union vote by March 29
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