Amazon-owned Whole Foods will be withdrawing medical benefits for hundreds of its part-time workers starting Jan. 1, 2020, the company said Thursday.
In the past, employees needed to work at least 20 hours a week to buy into the health-care plan. Now they will need to work at least 30 hours. Less than 2% of its workforce, or 1,900 employees, will no longer be eligible for medical coverage, under the new policy, the company said.
The news was first reported by Business Insider.
“In order to better meet the needs of our business and create a more equitable and efficient scheduling model, we are moving to a single-tier part-time structure,” a company spokesperson said in an email. “We are providing Team Members with resources to find alternative healthcare coverage options, or to explore full-time, healthcare-eligible positions starting at 30 hours per week. All Whole Foods Market Team Members continue to receive employment benefits including a 20% in-store discount.”
In 2018, Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 for all employees, including those at Whole Foods. Amazon also announced last week that it was planning on adding more than 30,000 permanent jobs in its tech, corporate and fulfillment departments.
According to a test by the ACLU, Amazon’s facial recognition system incorrectly identified one in five California lawmakers were incorrectly identified as criminals by the software.
Vice News reports that Amazon’s facial recognition software, Rekognition, incorrectly identified 26 California lawmakers as people arrested for crimes during a test of the software by the ACLU of Northern California. The software was used by the ACLU to scan 120 photos of lawmakers against a database of 25,000 photos of individuals who were arrested, according to ACLU lawyer Matt Cagle.
The test found that one in five California lawmakers were falsely associated with mugshots from the arrest database, exposing the issues with implementing facial recognition technology in law enforcement services. The Rekognition software reportedly matched the lawmakers to mugshot photos with a confidence rate of 80 percent.
Assembly member Phil Ting was one of the individuals incorrectly identified as a criminal by the software. He is also a lawmaker who has been calling for the limiting of facial recognition technology for some time, introducing a bill in February which would ban the use of facial recognition and biometric surveillance system on police-worn body cameras.
Amazon stated that it encourages police to use 99 percent confidence ratings for public safety users stating: “First, you should use confidence thresholds of 99% or higher to reduce errors and false positives,” in a guide for law enforcement states. In a blog post in February, Amazon stated:
“When using facial recognition to identify persons of interest in an investigation, law enforcement should use the recommended 99% confidence threshold, and only use those predictions as one element of the investigation (not the sole determinant).”
But Cagle stated in an email that Amazon’s 99 percent confidence threshold is not representative of how the technology is used in real-life situations. “In the real world, Amazon does not consider the failure to use a 99 confidence score to be irresponsible and a prominent law enforcement customer for Rekognition has acknowledged lowering and not using any score at all, according to news reports,”Cagle stated, citing a report from Gizmodo in which police stated that they do not set a confidence threshold.
At the press conference, Assembly member Ting stated:
“If you get falsely accused of an arrest, what happens?. It could impact your ability to get employment, it absolutely impacts your ability to get housing. There are real people who could have real impacts.”
(Natural News) The sick, twisted Cultural Marxist agenda of the deranged Left has come full circle today as Whole Foods is now sponsoring a Drag Queen Story Hour event to indoctrinate children into pedophilia, transgenderism and perversion. A retailer that once promoted organics and clean food is now saturated in absolute filth, exploiting America’s children to be “groomed” for the pedophiles and perverts that are repeatedly linked to drag queen events in multiple cities across America.
Not to be forgotten, Whole Foods also completely reversed its 2013 promise to label the GMO status of everything it sells by the end of 2018. As Natural News revealed, the promise was a five-year deliberate lie by the dishonest Whole Foods Market corporation, which continues to sell contaminated products and GMO canola oil to its customers.
Not only are Whole Foods’ product offerings filthy from a food science point of view; its cultural indoctrination programs are rooted in filth and child “grooming” that prepares children to be sexually molested by adult perverts dressed as women. Drag Queen Story Hour is a front for the pedophilia wing of the extreme transgender pervert community, which exploits young children for the sexual gratification of sicko adults, many of whom have been found to have criminal histories of sex abuse and child exploitation. Via NewsTarget.com:
According to records uncovered by MassResistance, William Travis Dees, the drag queen in question, is a current member of the “Space City Sisters” drag queen group. He’s also repeatedly volunteered as a “greeter” for young children at various DQSH events, as well as assumed other roles at these events that allowed him close access to underage children.
As it turns out, Dees has a rap sheet of heinous sex crimes that he committed against children as young as four that dates back as far as 2004. It was that same year, in fact, that Dees was convicted and jailed for committing sex crimes against not just one but four different prepubescent children, ranging in age from four to eight.
Dees also reportedly used different aliases for his various drag “characters” and “personas,” constantly shifting and altering who he was like a chameleon.
The Mayor of Atlanta endorses the pedophilia grooming of children
The pervert / pedophilia event has been endorsed by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who is obviously virtue signaling her support for transgenderism and pedophilia in order to appease the social justice perverts on the Left. Here’s her tweet proudly announcing the event and thanking Whole Foods for supporting it:
Drag queens are “pedophile disguises”
As a reader commented on this Information Liberation story covering the fiasco:
No normal people take their children to library to have fat old men dressed as clown women read them stories. Those parents are homosexuals who adopted or hired surrogates so they could abuse their minds and bodies, just like the lesbians that chopped off their boy’s male part so they could make him another drag queen. Soon they’ll insist its their right to have sex with children. Watch, you know its coming. And Whole foods? I’m done with you, go to hell. FYI.. in case you don’t see it, drag queens are pedophile disguises.
Another user comments:
Perverts can’t reproduce, so they have to convert a new generation with this mental/emotional/spiritual rape that is LGBTQ culture……
Their pedophilia produces a new line of victims to continue Satan’s shame parade…
A third user adds:
Notice how quickly the elites who run these institutions cave to this perversity and insanity …and to Hell with most normal people who built this country . and who support the Falcons. Blacks as a whole don’t buy into this ..but they will participate in turning this country into a perverse Hellhole by voting over 90% with the Party of perversion and evil… It is getting to where normals and Christians are going to have to disengage from most of American life…it’s entertainment, it’s schools, it’s sports , etc to survive. America is now toxic to Christianity ..It is NOW Sodom ..the Babylon the Great ..full of evil wine.
If you shop at Whole Foods, you are supporting pedophilia and child exploitation
It’s an inescapable conclusion: If you shop at Whole Foods, you are supporting pedophilia and child exploitation. That’s what the corporation apparently supports and endorses. If you want your children to be drooled over by fat slob pedo men dressed as women, then keep buying overpriced GMO canola oil at Whole Foods.
Rampant child abuse and sexual exploitation has now been normalized by “progressives” on the left, who claim they are doing all this for “love.” They claim sex with children is “loving” and normal, and that if you oppose it, you are full of hatred and intolerance.
Pedophilia, according to the deranged Left, is now “diversity” and “inclusiveness.” And you’ve got powerful corporations, mayors and politicians all supporting it.
Whole Foods will probably start holding Drag Queen Story Hour events in its own stores soon, turning Whole Foods Market locations into pedophilia indoctrination hubs where children are groomed to be “shared” among the “loving” community of pedos, which declares, “Love knows no age difference.”
Oh, and not to be outdone by Whole Foods, Facebook also published a survey asking whether pedos should be allowed to use Facebook to “solicit sexual pictures” from underage girls. As reported by the NY Post:
Facebook is under fire for publishing a stomach-churning survey that asked users whether pedophiles should be allowed to solicit “sexual pictures” from underage girls. The disgusting multiple-choice poll gave users the option to condone the sick behavior, allowing them to vote that the “content should be allowed on Facebook, and I would not mind seeing it.”
Maybe Facebook is buying its canola oil from Whole Foods. Both corporations are filled with sick, twisted, child abuse-minded corporate executives who apparently believe that normalizing pedophilia and child abuse is a great corporate strategy to attract more business from liberals and progressives.
Whole Foods has become the Jeffrey Epstein of the grocery retailing industry. If you support pedophilia and child rape, keep shopping at Whole Foods.
Source: by Mike Adams | Natural News
Amazon employs thousands of people to listen in on what people around the world are saying to their Alexa digital assistant, according to what is sure to be a Congressional hearing-inspiring report by Bloomberg, which cites seven people who have worked on the program.
While their job is to “help improve” NSAlexa – which powers the company’s line of Echo speakers – the team “listens to voice recordings captured in Echo owners’ homes and offices,” which are then transcribed, annotated and fed back into the software in order to try and improve Alexa’s understanding of human speech for more successful interactions. In other words, humans are effectively helping to train Amazon’s algorithm.
In marketing materials Amazon says Alexa “lives in the cloud and is always getting smarter.” But like many software tools built to learn from experience, humans are doing some of the teaching. -Bloomberg
The listening team is comprised of part-time contractors and full-time Amazon employees based all over the world; including India, Romania, Boston and Costa Rica.
Listeners work nine hour shifts, with each reviewing as many as 1,000 audio clips per shift according to two employees from Amazon’s Bucharest office – located in the top three floors of the Romanian capital’s Globalworth building. The location “stands out amid the crumbling infrastructure” of the Pipera district and “bears no exterior sign advertising Amazon’s presence.”
While much of the work is boring (one worker said his job was to mine for accumulated voice data for specific phrases such as “Taylor Swift” – letting the system know that the searcher was looking for the artist), reviewers are also listening on people’s most personal moments.
Occasionally the listeners pick up things Echo owners likely would rather stay private: a woman singing badly off key in the shower, say, or a child screaming for help. The teams use internal chat rooms to share files when they need help parsing a muddled word—or come across an amusing recording. -Bloomberg
Occasionally Amazon listeners come across upsetting or possibly criminal recordings – such as two workers who say they listened in on what sounded like a sexual assault.
According to the report, when things like this happen the workers will mention it in the internal chat room to “relieve stress.”
And while Amazon says that it has procedures to follow when workers hear distressing things, two of the Romania-based employees say they were told “it wasn’t Amazon’s job to interfere” when they requested guidance for such instances.
“We take the security and privacy of our customers’ personal information seriously,” said an Amazon spokesman in a statement provided to Bloomberg.
“We only annotate an extremely small sample of Alexa voice recordings in order improve the customer experience. For example, this information helps us train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems, so Alexa can better understand your requests, and ensure the service works well for everyone,” the statement continues. “We have strict technical and operational safeguards, and have a zero tolerance policy for the abuse of our system. Employees do not have direct access to information that can identify the person or account as part of this workflow. All information is treated with high confidentiality and we use multi-factor authentication to restrict access, service encryption and audits of our control environment to protect it.”
That said, Amazon does not mention the fact that humans are listening to recordings of some of the conversations picked up by Alexa. Instead, they have a generic disclaimer in their FAQ that says “We use your requests to Alexa to train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems.”
What Amazon records
Alexa, are you spying on me?
Alexa: *coughs* No, of course not.
— Wrong, Brian (@leonidasmoderus) May 25, 2018
Last May, an Amazon Echo recorded a conversation between a husband and wife, then sent it to one of the husband’s phone contacts. Amazon claims that during the conversation someone used a word that sounded like “Alexa,” which caused the device to begin recording.
“Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like ‘Alexa,’” said Amazon in a statement. “Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a ‘send message’ request. At which point, Alexa said out loud ‘To whom?’ At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customer’s contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, ‘[contact name], right?’ Alexa then interpreted background conversation as ‘right’. As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely.”
The wife, Danielle, however said that the Echo never requested her permission to send the audio. “At first, my husband was like, ‘No, you didn’t,’” Danielle told KIRO7. “And he’s like, ‘You sat there talking about hardwood floors.’ And we said, ‘Oh gosh, you really did!’”
Can you disable?
Alexa does allow people to stop sharing their voice recordings for the development of new features, while a screenshot reviewed by Bloomberg reveals that the recordings provided to Alexa’s listeners do not provide the full name or address of a user. It does, however, link the recording to an account number, the user’s first name, and the device’s serial number.
“You don’t necessarily think of another human listening to what you’re telling your smart speaker in the intimacy of your home,” said UMich professor Florian Schaub, who has researched privacy issues related to smart speakers. “I think we’ve been conditioned to the [assumption] that these machines are just doing magic machine learning. But the fact is there is still manual processing involved.“
“Whether that’s a privacy concern or not depends on how cautious Amazon and other companies are in what type of information they have manually annotated, and how they present that information to someone,” added Schaub.
Democratic socialist reacts to people saying she ‘didn’t understand’ Amazon deal
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez exploded on Twitter after being triggered by claims she is “dumb” and “didn’t understand” the New York-Amazon deal she was widely blamed for sabotaging.
Democratic Rep. Ocasio-Cortez issued a series of tweets defending her part in killing the Amazon HQ2 deal, which ultimately cost New Yorkers over 25,000 new jobs. Aside from missing out on new jobs in her district, the deal would have plowed nearly $30 billion in tax revenues to the state. During negotiations with the retail giant, New York officials offered tax reductions to the Jeff Bezos-owned Amazon to secure the deal. AOC emphatically asserted that she does “understand” how tax incentives work after claiming in an interview that New York was now, somehow, free to spend Amazon’s tax discount on other things.
According to the Daily Wire, the defensive thread was prompted by criticism from Crain’s New York Business editor Erik Engquist, who said that while he usually defends the democratic socialist congresswoman as intelligent, her troubling comments about the state “invest[ing] those $3 billion” instead of supposedly giving it to Amazon has left him speechless.
“If we were willing to give away $3 billion for this deal, we could invest those $3 billion in our district ourselves, if we wanted to,” the freshman congresswoman said last week. “We could hire out more teachers. We can fix our subways. We can put a lot of people to work for that money if we wanted to.”
“I’ve been telling @AOC critics that she is smart, but what do I say when she says nonsense like ‘we could invest those $3 billion in [@amazon tax breaks] in our district. We could hire more teachers. We can fix our subways, we can put a lot of people to work for that money,'” tweeted Engquist. Ocasio-Cortez responded forcefully and at length:
“Not sure how many pundits talking about Amazon even read the deal or where it was going. $500+ million of the deal was *capital grants.* $2.5 billion in tax breaks. It’s fair to ask why we don’t invest the capital for public use, + why we don’t give working people a tax break,”
Among those criticizing the Democratic opposition to the deal is Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who slammed “a small group of politicians” who “put their own narrow political interests above their community — which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City — the state’s economic future and the best interests of the people of this state.” “The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage,” Cuomo said Thursday. “They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity.” Full statement below:
Amazon chose to come to New York because we are the capital of the world and the best place to do business. We competed in and won the most hotly contested national economic development competition in the United States, resulting in at least 25,000-40,000 good paying jobs for our state and nearly $30 billion dollars in new revenue to fund transit improvements, new housing, schools and countless other quality of life improvements. Bringing Amazon to New York diversified our economy away from real estate and Wall Street, further cementing our status as an emerging center for tech and was an extraordinary economic win not just for Queens and New York City, but for the entire region, from Long Island to Albany’s nanotech center. However, a small group of politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community — which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City — the state’s economic future and the best interests of the people of this state. The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity. The fundamentals of New York’s business climate and community that attracted Amazon to be here – our talent pool, world-class education system, commitment to diversity and progressivism – remain and we won’t be deterred as we continue to attract world class business to communities across New York State.