Amazon is the most powerful corporation on the planet. Now with a net worth in excess of $200 billion dollars, its CEO, Jeff Bezos, has become the richest person in history, and one of the few people to profit from the global pandemic. Amazon’s dominance is so profound that it has reshaped the global economy itself: we now live in the age of ‘Amazon Capitalism’.
Servicing the expansion of its e-commerce empire, Amazon has in turn become one of the world’s largest logistics companies as well, and its highly profitable Amazon Web Services (AWS) now accounts for more than half the world’s public cloud infrastructure market.
Covering some of the corporation’s uniquely troubling facets – including automation, surveillance and the disruption of local democracy – we also discuss Amazon workers’ resistance and organising over issues such as pay and working conditions, and developing networks of international solidarity.
On the panel are:
Jake Alimahomed-Wilson, Professor of Sociology at California State University, Long Beach. Jake is the co-editor of Choke Points: Logistics Workers Disrupting the Global Supply Chain as well as the new book The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy (Pluto, 2020);
Ellen Reese, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside, and co-editor of The Cost of Free Shipping;
Nantina Vgontzas, a labor activist and postdoctoral researcher at the AI Now Institute at New York University. Their research explores the global renewal of the labor movement amid growing crises of public health, climate change and authoritarian ascent;
and Christian Zamarrón, a member of Amazonians United in Chicago – an autonomous, worker-based movement fighting for workers’ rights, better conditions and the democratization of their workplaces.
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