Online retailing behemoth Amazon is being absolutely crucified online after releasing its plans to introduce tiny “wellness chambers” in its warehouses so that its heavily exploited and over-stressed workforce can sit inside and watch videos about relaxation and mindfulness while a tiny fan moves air around.
The chambers, billed as “AmaZen” meditation booths, have been called “dystopian” and likened to “coffins” and “crying booths” in a wave of derision unleashed on social networks.
In an announcement shared to Twitter that has since been deleted, Amazon said that the “ZenBooth” or “Mindful Practice Room” – which appears to be smaller than a Porta Potty – would help recenter workers and restore their mental health.
In a separate press release, Amazon said that the booths were a part of their WorkingWell program, which would involve a mix of “physical and mental activities, wellness exercises, and healthy eating support” to “help them recharge and reenergize.”
Describing the AmaZen booths, it said: “During shifts employees can visit AmaZen stations and watch short videos featuring easy-to-follow well-being activities, including guided meditations, positive affirmations, calming scenes with sounds.”
But as Motherboard reported: “What this looks like in reality is a coffin-sized booth in the middle of an Amazon warehouse where workers can use a computer to view ‘mental health and mindful practices.’”
The company has been plagued in recent years by relentless criticism over working conditions in its Fulfillment Centers, where staffers reportedly must urinate in water bottles in order to meet their quotas.
Other social media users were quick to come up with their own characterizations for the AmaZen kiosk, including calling it a “crying booth.”
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