Sunday, March 17, 2019

Amazon hires employees remotely in other countries, while US locals don't want to work there

Horrible working conditions at Amazon resulted in the following. Obviously, less and less people want to work there. Like in my previous posts, I make a distinction between white collars and blue collars. Among white collars, I highlight group of software engineers because
1) I am an engineer and I work for Amazon;
2) Engineers is more "unique" labor force and thus more sensitive to working conditions.

Blue collars are less sensitive to working conditions. They often have no choice. Amazon takes major part of labor market and holds power of monopoly. They cannot dictate their demands. Because Amazon says: "if you don't like it - quit; we have 10 other guys applying for this position". And this is true.

As I did often before, I discuss work perspectives for software engineers again. Software engineers started running away from Amazon few years ago. This was logical reaction to bruising workplace.

How did Amazon react? Amazon started hiring engineers remotely from other countries. This practice became successful. These guys are doing the same job but they are paid 10 times less. Hereby, "10" is real average number. They don't come to US, they don't need visas. All they need is laptop and Internet. Remote location does not affect software engineering as long as you have Internet and can speak English.

Teams from different countries started working on the same projects together. They have common managers, common access to network resources etc. In fact, people from different countries became one team. Sounds like a good story? International culture exchange? Power of diversity? Nope.

Imagine the following. You and your colleagues are working on the same project, doing the same job, have similar responsibilities. But your colleague is paid 10 times more for the same job. Do you like him? He could be nice guy, but your human nature earlier or later will start hate against him. That is hard to imagine. But I witnessed this hate. It is not fault of some person. It is fault of the system, of the company.

Moreover. Imagine you are the manager of the team. You can push guys from another countries as much as you want. They can be paid less and work more. Their countries have different culture, different laws. Small salary makes them happy. Discrimination can be absolutely legal and normal in these countries. But as a manager you assign similar work load to all the team members. That means, if foreign guys are working more, why US locals should take a rest? You applied for work in US. But while working in US you meet working conditions of e g Asia applied to you.

If you join Amazon in US, you join Amazon in other countries. Sitting in Seattle, you will compete with engineers sitting abroad. And you will be treated like them. Don't worry, your salary will not be consequently decreased. But your working conditions will be the same as for them in their countries.
Otherwise, Amazon has no benefit from hiring you in US.

Why should Amazon hire the engineer in US who knows his civil rights and who demands 10 times more salary? Instead of him, Amazon has an option to hire 10 engineers abroad and forget about any civil rights. Foreign engineers are employed by foreign companies affiliated with Amazon. Their employees are not subject to US labor legislation.

Conclusion? Don't apply work there


  1. Well, it's the same in the entire criminal "tech industry"....I'm yet to see the company I personally dealt with that didn't exploit this, including a very small one that too managed to have a low-paid "overseas team". Welcome to globalization brought on by the tech - it does not benefit America (and I say this as an immigrant).

    1. In Amazon number of overseas workers is much more than in other tech companies. Every company has a problem. But Amazon took the first prize. Because nobody here wants to work for Amazon. And they are forced to go abroad

    2. The number is big because the company overall is big - but the percentage probably isn't that big as compared to many other tech companies - while Amazon might be the top. Many hold only a small head office in the US and the rest overseas/outsourced, this is very common. Statistics would not be showing this correctly because companies can outsource contract work without having overseas "employees" - just temp contract outsourcing, which is common, this wouldn't show up in the labor stats.

    3. Maybe. I don't know statistics of other companies. But speed of change matters. And percentage in within Amazon is growing fast. Because people in America don't want to work there