By Sebastian Herrera
Amazon.com Inc. founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said the company needs a "better vision" for employees following a recent vote among Alabama warehouse workers who rejected unionization.
"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," Mr. Bezos said in a letter to shareholders Thursday. Mr. Bezos added that he didn't take comfort in the outcome.
More than 70% of Amazon employees in Bessemer, Ala., voted not to unionize last week, giving the tech giant a victory in its biggest battle yet against labor-organizing efforts.
Mr. Bezos, who is set to step down as CEO in the third quarter and will remain chairman, says he is aiming to make the retail giant the safest and best employer to work for.
"We have always wanted to be Earth's Most Customer-Centric Company. We won't change that. It's what got us here. But I am committing us to an addition," Mr. Bezos wrote. "We are going to be Earth's Best Employer and Earth's Safest Place to Work."
Mr. Bezos said Amazon works hard to serve its employees and called reports of unsafe working conditions at its hundreds of warehouses inaccurate. He said employees are able to take breaks when needed without affecting their performance goals. Some employees at the company have complained about the rate at which they have to sort or prepare packages, with some workers having to prepare hundreds of items an hour while being closely monitored by the company.
"We don't set unreasonable performance goals," Mr. Bezos said. "We set achievable performance goals that take into account tenure and actual employee performance data."
Write to Sebastian Herrera at Sebastian.Herrera@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires