Perks of the modern workplace: Now you can actually get fired by a robot.

In one year, online shop Amazon fired more than 300 workers citing lack of ‘productivity’ at a single facility in America.

But these employees weren’t called into their manager’s office for a one-on-one. They weren’t talked through their apparent ‘failings’ and given a chance to redeem themselves. They weren’t given an explanation by their boss, before being kicked to the curb.

They were reportedly  automatically fired. As in, an automated system tracking their every move while at work, had the power and full authority to fire them from their jobs.

Speaking of work. Which kind of work wife are you? Post continues after video. 

Video by MMC

Amazon’s fulfilment centres are the engine of the company — massive warehouses where workers track, pack, sort, and shuffle each order before sending it on its way to the buyer’s door.

Workers are on the job for about 10 hours a day, and face strenuous conditions.

They have a “make rate” and pack hundreds of boxes per hour.


The system tracks how many breaks they take, and for how long. Many are too scared to go to the toilet in case the metric logs too much “time off task.”

Others resort to relieving themselves in bottles, reported an undercover reporter with the Verge.

The same reporter described the conditions inside the warehouse as more or a “prison or an airport”. There are high security scanners that check in workers, and ban them from items like hoodies, sunglasses, and phones.

They’re not allowed to be sick, even with a medical note. One worker describes being called in to talk about his ‘conduct’ after doing this.

Amazon's Newest Robotics Fulfillment Center Holds Grand Opening In Orlando
Workers at the newest Amazon Robotics fulfillment centre in Orlando. Image: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

If the system determines the employee is failing to meet production targets, it can automatically issue warnings and terminate them without a supervisor’s intervention.

Although Amazon insists that a human supervisor can override the system if they need to, reports Business Insider.

It works off a points system, so too many points and you're out. One woman even reported getting points against her name for being "ill during pregnancy."

Staff in an anonymous survey by Organise, describe feeling dizzy and weak from the sheer speed at which they are expected to work.

Unsurprisingly, 55 percent of Amazon employees told the survey they've suffered depression since working at the company.

All of these reports are out of America, here at home Amazon Australia told Mamamia, they don't have 'auto-fire', but they do have "reasonable performance expectations."

What are your thoughts on Amazon's technique for keeping its staff on track? Tell us in the comments section below.