A City With Amazon at the Center: California’s Inland Empire

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What happens when Amazon becomes a fixture in America’s towns and cities?

Erica Hayasaki Recently written Article for New York Times magazine Regarding Amazon’s impact on the Inland Empire in an area east of Los Angeles, where the company is the largest private employer. More than 40,000 people in the region handle or distribute Amazon orders since two years ago.

I spoke to Hayasaki, a professor in the literary journalism program at the University of California at Irvine, about how he researched Amazon workers in the field and what the implications are – good and bad – when Amazon comes to town.

Shira: Are you interested in writing about the Amazon in the Inland Empire?

Hayasaki: My family moved to a town called Eastwell in 2018, and Amazon’s presence Was immediately clear. Near Costco, you see Amazon’s two giant warehouses with over 6,000 employees in total. You see Amazon semi-trucks and new homes with Amazon products such as Alexa manufactured.

Officials at the nearby Ontario International Airport showed me runways that were partially under construction to fly in and out of Amazon cargo. We see Amazon as shoppers all the time, but it is different here. I started talking with the workers about what it was for them.

What did the employees at Amazon Warehouse tell you about what they like about their jobs and what they don’t?

They appreciate that Amazon offers them health and retirement benefits – and they have a job at a time when many others have lost work.

The biggest concern I heard was safety. This is not new, But when the epidemic hit the workers’ fear for their lives was acute.

And some jobs related to Amazon are uncertain. I rode with an Amazon delivery driver who also worked for an app-based delivery company. His girlfriend also did. He was piecing together several forms of income for himself and his five children. This is not an easy way to live.

Is amazon Creation of many new jobs This is twice the minimum salary with the starting salary. Is not it good?

Most of the workers I spoke with said that Amazon could be better given Financial success of the company. I heard activists ask why the company Increased salary From $ 2 per hour but only temporarily. They are working harder than ever and it is still an epidemic.

For Eastvale, what is the impact of having Amazon there?

City officials said they appreciated the new jobs created by Amazon, but they feared that automation could gradually eliminate work. And because of the way state taxes are structured, the city is receiving lower tax revenue than expected from Amazon’s presence.

City officials also said that with so many Amazon vehicles there is a lot of wear and tear on the roads. And with so many people on the Amazon site, it generates a lot of calls to police and emergency services for worker injuries or just fender benders. It is a stretch on local resources.

Your article discussed “company cities” – cities like Hershey, Pa, which were once dominated by a single employer. Is Eastwell like this?

No, unlike company cities of the past, Amazon does not control housing for employees or replace government functions. But there are some elements in the Inland Empire that remind of company cities. One that struck me was an Amazon career program for high school students. People spoke highly of it, but others in the community questioned the teenager being put on a route to an Amazon job.

Shoshanna ZuboffA professor emeritus at Harvard Business School told me that the Amazon company is beyond the city phenomenon. This is a corporate world. Seeing Amazon’s presence in our lives, its size, and how many people the company employs is a combination unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Tip of the week

Are you wondering how old your living room is for that television set or internet router? New York Times Personal Technology Columnist Brian x. Chain To consider replacing four important gadgets in our lives.

I am a lawyer Finalizing its technology As long as you possibly can. But at some point, it is time to replace your phone, computer, TV set, and Internet router. However, it is difficult to know. Here is a cheat sheet to consider retiring your current model:

Smartphones: It is wise to change your device when your phone cannot receive operating system updates. When this happens, some of your favorite apps may stop working properly, and you won’t be able to easily increase the security that protects you from attacks and malware.

Apple iPhones can usually receive software updates for five years, and Android phones typically receive software updates for two to three years.

computer: Likewise, when your computer can no longer receive important software updates, it’s probably time to leave. But Windows and Mac PCs receive these updates nine to 15 years longer than smartphones. (I’m still rocking an iMac that I bought nine years ago.)

Within that time frame, however, other parts such as your hard drive, laptop battery, or screen may fail. When repair costs become impractical, looking for a new model can take time.

Television sets: If you don’t miss the improvement in video quality, you can hold onto TV for decades. But also think about what connects to your set. If your TV is old enough that you can’t plug in modern devices you want to use – video game consoles, streaming video sticks, and audio equipment – then it’s probably time to retire.

Internet router: Your Wi-Fi Hub is an important piece of infrastructure that affects everything connecting to your home Internet. Generally, new Wi-Fi technologies affected the market every five years. If your router is more than five years old, you may want to get on the latest Wi-Fi technology, as you will probably see meaningful improvements in speed and coverage.

Beware of the terrible sight … A cat riding a Roomba pirate ship. (Turn up the sound for this. And thanks to my colleague Erin McCann To tweet it.)

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