Amazon Warehouse Workers on the Front Line

Amazon Warehouse Workers on the Front Line

April 26, 2020

Amazon operates more than 175 distribution centers primarily in North America and Europe.  Warehouse workers are concerned about the virus impact on their health and their family’s health.

Amazon has experienced more demand given online sales have increased as many consumers are in self-isolation or working from home.  While Amazon looks to add 100,000 workers quickly and require many current employees to work overtime, the work conditions cannot honor the social distancing recommendations.  Amazon is performing more cleaning, but the fact remains that the nature of the work and the demand increase put workers at increased risk.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNN article, Amazon warehouse workers fear catching coronavirus just to get you your packages, by Sara Ashley O’Brien and Nathaniel Meyersohn, March 20, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight Continue reading

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Fast Fashion Turns to Fast Trash

Fast Fashion Turns to Fast Trash

April 10, 2020

Ghana imports large amounts of secondhand clothing from the UK and other countries, but poor quality makes much of it unsaleable.  Over 50 tons a day, representing about forty percent of the items coming into Kantamanto, the main market, end up being thrown away.

Landfill sites in Ghana are overflowing with the debris.  Low quality fast fashion items, cheap single use t-shirts from marathons or other special events, and unclean items have little to no value in the resale market.  Vendors gamble, buying their bales of used clothing sight unseen, and hope for the best.  Sadly, much of what they purchase will be thrown away, making Ghana and other African countries a dumping ground for other countries’ unwanted textile waste.


Video Spotlight: How fast fashion choices in the the UK are causing an environmental catastrophe in Ghana (Feb 18, 2020, ITV News)


This post is based on the Daily Mail article, The fast fashion trash mountain: Shocking report reveals today’s cheap clothes are so badly made they often can’t be resold—and end up rotting into a toxic soup in Africa, by Barbara Davies, February 25, 2020, and the YouTube video featured in Continue reading

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When Health Is Bad Business

When Health Is Bad Business

Combating the spread of drug-resistant bacteria is a losing business proposition.

Big Pharma has abandoned antibiotic R&D, and small pharmaceutical companies are going bankrupt. Several factors contribute to this trend. From an operations standpoint, it is difficult to justify a product with high costs and low demand. The article highlights the difficulty of reconciling profitability and the public good.


Video Spotlight: Fighting Drug-Resistant Germs


This post is based on The New York Times article, Crisis Looms in Antibiotics as Drug Makers Go Bankrupt, by A. Jacobs, December 25, 2019, and the YouTube video, Data Overview: 2019 Antibiotic Resistance Threats Reportby the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 13, 2019. Image source: Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why is the field of antibiotic research unprofitable?

Guidance: There are several reasons why this type of research is unprofitable. R&D costs for new generations of antibiotics are very high, but the time to get a new antibiotic approved is long and sales are poor. Antibiotics are taken for a short period of time, limiting sales volume. In their attempts to control costs, hospitals have been reluctant to spend money on new antibiotics. Warned of the effects of abusing Continue reading

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