An overwhelming majority of surveyed Amazon employees approve of the company's COVID response, despite warehouse protests and public criticism

  • A majority of Amazon surveyed employees approve of the company’s response to COVID so far.
  • More than half of employees also said their managers are “always” enforcing COVID safety measures.
  • Meanwhile, most employees said they felt more pressure to increase productivity since the pandemic began.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Amazon has come under fire over the past year for its treatment of warehouse employees during the pandemic. That’s led to a series of worker protests and public criticism.

But most Amazon employees still say the company is “doing enough” to protect employees from the coronavirus, and they approve of its response to the pandemic, according to a new Insider survey. 

At the same time, Amazon employees said they’re feeling more pressure to increase productivity since the pandemic began, as demand for both online shopping and cloud computing — Amazon’s two largest businesses — grew exponentially over the past year.

The survey results shed light on the possible disconnect between Amazon’s warehouse workers and its higher-paid corporate employees, even as the company’s COVID-response has made national headlines and drew intense scrutiny over its safety measures last year.

Here’s a breakdown of the survey results:

  • Employee protection: 40% of respondents said they feel Amazon is doing “a great deal” when asked if the company is doing enough to protect employees during the pandemic. Roughly 26% said it’s doing “a lot,” while another 18% said “a moderate amount.” Just 11% said “a little” and 4% said “none at all.” A little over 1% said “I don’t know.”
  • Safety enforcement: 54% of respondents said their managers are “always” enforcing COVID safety measures. Almost 24% said “usually,” while 14% said “sometimes.” Only 7% of respondents said “rarely” and less than 1% said “never.”
  • Approval rate: 43% of respondents said they “strongly approve” of Amazon’s COVID-19 response, while 33% said they “approve” it. A little more than 6% said they “disapprove” while 2% said “strongly disapprove.” 16% said they “neither approve nor disapprove.”
  • Productivity pressure: 29% of respondents said they’ve felt “a great deal” of pressure to increase productivity since the pandemic began. 16% said “a lot” and 29% said “a moderate amount.” Only 9% said “a little,” while 17% said “none at all.”

Amazon’s spokesperson declined to comment.

This analysis comes from a December survey conducted on SurveyMonkey. The survey asked 237 respondents who said they worked for Amazon whether they’re happy at their jobs, satisfied with their compensation and direct management, and more. Amazon has over 800,000 employees in the US, and over 1.1 million worldwide.

A group of employees, lawmakers, and regulators have criticized Amazon’s response to the pandemic over the past year, namely the lax safety measures in its warehouses and the firing of certain employees who led worker protests.

The concerns weren’t just limited to its warehouse workers. A small group of engineers at the California-based Lab126, Amazon’s device-making unit, filed internal complaints about having to come into work despite the state’s new stay-at-home mandate requiring tighter restrictions in December, as Insider previously reported.

Amazon disclosed in October that it saw almost 20,000 positive COVID cases among its employees. The company previously announced that it anticipated roughly $10 billion in additional cost due to its COVID-related responses.

Survey data collected 237 respondents between December 18-31, 2020. Given a U.S. footprint of 800,000 Amazon employees, this translates to approximately a 5 percentage point margin of error with a 90% confidence interval. This survey was collected through a SurveyMonkey link promoted on Facebook to people in the United States who said they worked for Amazon.com. An entry in a sweepstakes for six $100 gift cards was offered as an incentive to respond, organized through US Sweepstakes and Fulfillment Co. An optional verification question asked respondents who they worked for and 95% said Amazon. All other respondents were removed from the sample. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet.

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