Was our need to be understood more important than a living wage?
“Amazon’s success didn’t just come from predatory buying and selling practices. Nor did it come from of simple ingenuity. It was a combination of these elements and deals struck by one generation with itself regarding personal identity, worker’s rights, and the value of stock speculation. Was the right to have green hair and torn t-shirts worth it? Was our need to be understood more important than a living wage? Were these even the choices we faced? . . . Bezos once bragged in a Wall Street Journal interview that he told temp agencies to hire the “freaks.” The assumption at the time was that Bezos wanted creativity. But his creative staff wasn’t coming out of the temp agencies, the warehouse recruits were. And I never met a “freak” who wouldn’t throw over a decent wage to work somewhere lousy if they felt they belonged. These were people who wanted to be a part of something. They wanted to be valued for who they were, rather than what they produced. I often wondered if what Bezos really figured out was that if you gave freaks a home, they would give you everything they had-their best ideas, their longest days, and their rights on the job.” — Vanessa Veselka, on attempting to unionize Amazon