WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Amazon. com relies on extensive worker surveillance to boost employee output and potentially limit unionization efforts around the United States, says a research paper issued on Monday by the Open Markets Institute.
The Washington-based research and advocacy group, focused on antitrust and monopoly power of technology companies, said Amazon uses such tools as navigation software, item scanners, wristbands, thermal cameras, security cameras and recorded footage to surveil its workforce in warehouses and stores.
The paper says invasive forms of worker surveillance should be prohibited and employers such as Amazon should obtain approval from state and federal agencies for non-invasive tracking measures that do not harm workers.
Sally Hubbard, director of enforcement strategy at the Open Markets Institute (OMI) and a former New York assistant attorney general, said: “Our aim is to show how the tremendous imbalance of power between employers and workers gets exacerbated by an alarming increase in surveillance.
The research paper also says the National Labor Relations Board should prohibit certain types of surveillance and its use to limit unionization efforts.