East Point Amazon workers demand stable schedules, guaranteed hours after surprise shift cuts

by Fulton Watch News Feed

Workers at Amazon’s ATL6 fulfillment center in East Point are pushing for higher pay, stable scheduling and guaranteed hours after Amazon started unexpectedly shortening their shifts–often during the actual shift.  

This year, management has started “flexing down” their schedules, which means hours are eliminated from their shifts with no notice, the workers say. Management also eliminated a morning shift entirely. 

According to Ronald Sewell, who’s worked at the ATL 6 fulfillment center for six years, management began shortening workers’ four-hour shifts–or “sorts,” as they’re called–just over two months ago.

After an unspecified number of orders have been packaged, Sewell said, “They’ll come back and they’ll say it’s time to go home. No more work. And what happens is that fourth hour, we don’t get paid for it. In the past, they automatically paid us for the remaining time.” 

Because of Sewell’s seniority, he’s frequently able to work double sorts, and he makes the maximum hourly rate of $18.40 an hour. By comparison, new hires make only $15.50 an hour.

Escalating demands

Working with United for Respect, the ATL6 employees sent a collective letter to Amazon management on May 3 to raise concerns over the unpredictable scheduling and hours reductions at their fulfillment center, which employs 1,500 people. United for Respect is a national advocacy nonprofit for retail workers, not a union, but it’s helping workers organize at Amazon, Walmart and other big companies.

In the letter, employees pushed for more transparency and cooperation from management. “We, the associates affected by proposed changes, should have a full understanding of how our work and lives will be impacted, and we should have a say into how these decisions are made,” they said.

“Not being able to count on a set number of hours every day means that we cannot count on a set income to pay our bills, cover expenses,…

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