Jump to Amazon.com: Alerts;
• Amazon began by selling books, but has quickly grown in the realm of music, clothing, furniture, electronics, toys, personal care products, prescription drugs, home improvement products, and more.
• In 2002 Amazon.com came under fire for using its computer software subsidiary to collect sensitive data from online shoppers.
• Amazon fired 300 customer service representatives in Seattle when they talked of forming a union, and others were penalized for revealing negative information about the company.
• Go Green and find local alternatives to Amazon.
-- Profile Updated 06/30/2010
Amazon.com, headquartered in Seattle, started as an online bookstore, but has since become a rapidly expanding anything store. Amazon offers books, music, toys, personal care products, prescription drugs, home improvement products, and so forth. Started in 1994, the company went public in 1997. In 2005, Amazon reported sales of $8.49 billion and employed 9,000 people.
Alexa Internet - San Francisco, CA
Seattle, WA 98144-2734 USA
In April 2001 an Amazon distribution center in England was the focus of criticism for its working conditions, which included "poor pay, poor conditions, poor communications and poor management," according to a union organizer. Specific complaints for workers included worker harassment and intimidation. Amazon denied the complaints, stating, "We are a hugely open and democratic company and we believe we do the very best for our employees."
-- Guardian, 04/14/2007
In January 2001 Amazon fired 300 customer service reps in the Seattle area, including many pushing for a union. For a short time Amazon also implemented a gag order for terminated workers: departing workers who said anything negative in public about the company were given smaller severance packages. In February 2001, Amazon revoked the gag order and instead began asking departing workers to sign a general release clause. A union activist in the Seattle area said of the clause: "This one basically affirms that you will not file any complaints, lawsuits, etc., against the company. It seems to include things like racial and sexual harassment, and unhealthy work environment."
-- Infoworld, 03/12/2001
Source URL: none available
Ethics and Governance
In 2002 Amazon paid $2 million to settle civil lawsuits claiming that Amazon and its Alexa Internet software subsidiary violated customers privacy. According to the allegations, Amazon's Alexa system, which is designed to assist with online shopping, secretly intercepted electronic communications and other personal data with its computer software program and sent the information to third parties, including Amazon. This alleged activity is in violation of two federal laws and the California Business and Professions Code. Although it paid to settle the case, Amazon has denied allegations, saying the system inadvertently stored the data. After investigating the situation, the FTC stated, ""Our review indicated that certain of Amazon.com's and Alexa Internet's practices likely were deceptive. Nevertheless, we have decided not to recommend enforcement action at this time."
-- Global Newswire, 05/21/2001
Source URL: none available
In 2006 Amazon.com CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos received $1,281,840 in compensation, according to both the AFL-CIO and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
-- AFL-CIO, 10/18/2007
Amazon.com received a score of 80 on the 2008 Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which rates large corporations on policies that affect their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, consumers and investors. The CEI rates companies on a scale of 0 to 100 percent. Amazon had improved from a score of 65 in the previous study.
-- Human Rights Campaign, 09/17/2007
Source URL: www.hrc.org/issues/ceihome.asp