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An Amazon warehouse in Orlando. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto/Getty

In a 14-month span starting in August 2017, Amazon fired about 300 full-time employees at a single warehouse in Baltimore for lack of productivity, according to reporting from The Verge that Amazon confirmed to Axios.

The big picture: That's a significant chunk of the roughly 2,500 people employed at the Baltimore warehouse where the firings occurred, reports the Verge's Colin Lecher.

  • "Assuming a steady rate, that would mean Amazon was firing more than 10 percent of its staff annually, solely for productivity reasons," Lecher writes.
  • Extrapolating to North America, that churn rate would mean thousands are fired every year for packing boxes too slowly.
  • In a statement to Axios, Amazon said that "in general, the number of employee terminations have decreased over the last two years at this facility as well as across North America."

According to documents The Verge obtained, Amazon has a system for automatically rating warehouse employee productivity and sending them warnings or even pink slips if their numbers fall — "without input from supervisors."

  • The Verge quotes Amazon as saying that that supervisors can step in and prevent an automated firing from taking place.

Go deeper

Senate Democrats reach deal on extending unemployment insurance

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Democrats struck a deal Friday evening to extend unemployment insurance in President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package after deliberating and halting other action for roughly nine hours, per a Senate aide.

Why it matters: The Senate can now resume voting on other amendments to the broader rescue bill.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.