Amazon is expanding the use of algorithms to manage its many employees a little further. After warehouse employees, it is the turn of delivery people to be evaluated by an application that does not hesitate to dismiss them without warning if their score drops.
When we talk about machines that replace humans at work, we immediately imagine industrial robots in production lines. We think less of the human resources office. Yet it is, which uses an algorithm to fire its delivery men. This is the diary who revealed the case.
Amazon has around four million Flex couriers, three-quarters of which are in the United States. Flex is a system similar to, where delivery people sign up and decide when they are free to work and receive deliveries to make accordingly. However, the management of this staff is fully automated. The calculates routes and travel times and delivery people see their ratings lower if they don’t follow them. Below a certain mark, their access to the application is simply revoked by the algorithm and an automatic message is sent to them. They are, in effect, dismissed by e-mail.
200 dollars to contest his dismissal
Former employees interviewed by the newspaper said the algorithm ignores actual conditions. Some delivery times are absurd with roads in poor condition or snowy. Other deliveries are impossible, for example with certain residences which are not accessible before a certain time. Even queues to collect packages from the warehousecount against delivery people. After the slightest breakdown, it takes weeks to get your rating back up.
Delivery people can dispute the end of their contract, but they have to shell out $ 200 and they never have the assurance that they can talk to a human being. The responses received by the different deliverers are similar and appear to be fully automated.However, defended himself through his spokesperson Kate Kudrna, who indicated that these cases were anecdotal and do not represent the experience of the vast majority of Amazon Flex deliverers. Assuming the spokesperson is not also an algorithm …
Amazon spies and rates its delivery people with an app
Article by Sylvain Biget, published on 02/15/2021
Amazon is forcing its delivery people to install an application called Mentor which analyzes their behavior on the road to give them ratings and apply penalties in the event of non-compliance with house rules.
If the deployment of facilities specific toin France systematically raises of protest, this news will not help matters. According to an investigation by the American channel , in addition to installing in its fleet of vehicles surveillance cameras whose images are decrypted by artificial intelligence, the merchant monitors their driving behavior via an application called Mentor. A means that would ensure the safety and control the efficiency of delivery people, according to Amazon.
Drivers who are often members of third-party delivery companies should log into Mentor as soon as they start their tours. The application will identify driving behavior deemed aggressive and brutal, or monitor the wearing of the. Every week, the data analysis by Mentor is consolidated in the form of a report and a note is issued. For a clear round, 800 points are issued, but when the score drops below 499, disciplinary measures may fall. These may be suspensions or loss of benefits.
A very authoritarian mentor
Still according to the survey of CNBC, these scores are also compiled by partner delivery fleets to assess them. When the rating is low, they get fewer benefits. For example, optimized routes are not communicated to them. But now, Mentor remains aand sometimes goes too far. When the driver is at the wheel, he counts incoming calls and even sometimes those that go unanswered and punishes them.
Another flaw, delivery companies do not necessarily provide the necessary equipment to operate Mentor and deliverers must install it on their own mobile. This manipulation generates the permanent monitoring of the location of the driver’s personal mobile. A surveillance that does not seem to bother Amazon too much. It must be said that Mentor is only one of the building blocks involved in monitoring the effectiveness of its employees and partners. It is this type of process that has enabled Amazon to gain in efficiency and become the most efficient solution for customers. Even if it means sitting more and moreon the human.