Amazon has built an “army” of Twitter “ambassadors” which tweet reportedly scripted positive messages about working conditions in its warehouses.
TechCrunch reported last week that it had found 15 Twitter accounts, all with Amazon’s smile logo as its background and the same biography structure.
All of these accounts also list themselves as FC (fulfilment centre) Ambassadors, employees who work in the retailer’s warehouses but volunteer as an ambassador to respond to negative conversations about Amazon’s working conditions.
The ecommerce giant has more than once been thrown into controversy regarding the working conditions at its fulfilment centres.
An undercover investigation late last year revealed that some workers fell asleep on their feet due to a demanding work load, endured timed toilet breaks and faced targets they could not meet.
In what appears to be an effort to tackle negative sentiment regarding these allegations, Amazon’s FC Ambassadors can often be seen defending a raft of criticisms including pay, toilet breaks and conditions, how monotonous the job is and their management.
Though the workers state they do not receive any extra compensation for being ambassadors when asked online, a former FC Ambassador told Yahoo Finance’s Krystal Hu this was not the case.
Ambassadors reportedly did not get paid any more, but were awarded an extra paid day off, a gift card and lunch.
It also gave opportunities for warehouse staff to “get out of loading trucks, or packing boxes for 10 to 12 hours”.
Amazon told The Retail Gazette that FC Ambassadors choose to take on the role and then do this full time, recieving the same benefits and compensation as other warehouse staff.
It added, speaking to Tech Crunch, that: “It’s important that we do a good job of educating people about the actual environment inside our fulfillment centers, and the FC ambassador program is a big part of that along with the fulfillment center tours we provide.”