Bezos pointed to the recent union election outcome at one of Amazon’s Alabama warehouses as an example of why the company needs to address challenges within its workforce. Last week, Amazon secured enough votes to defeat a unionization drive at its Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse.
“While the voting results were lopsided and our direct relationship with employees is strong, it’s clear to me that we need a better vision for how we create value for employees – a vision for their success,” Bezos wrote.
Bezos also disputed previous media coverage of working conditions at the company, including the criticism that the pace of work inside its warehouses is too strenuous. Bezos said there’s an impression of Amazon workers “being desperate souls and treated as robots,” but that that’s inaccurate.
“We don’t set unreasonable performance goals,” Bezos said. “We set achievable performance performance goals that take into account tenure and actual performance data.”
The letter is Bezos’ final annual letter to shareholders as he’s set to step down as CEO in the third quarter. Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, will take over his role.