Workers standing around.

@jaimetrevino/TikTok @1slowse/TikTok

‘They won’t send us home’: Viral TikToks show Amazon workers stuck at warehouses amid massive outage

Some have said they haven't been able to leave.


Grace Ferguson


Published Dec 8, 2021   Updated Dec 8, 2021, 10:28 am CST

An outage of Amazon’s cloud computing system halted work in its warehouses Tuesday, leaving employees with nothing to do but pass the time.

The outage also caused interruptions for other tech giants who use Amazon’s service, including Netflix, Coinbase, and Slack.

But while some Americans sat at home trying to remember how they entertained themselves and exchanged currency in the olden days, Amazon workers were stuck in warehouses where they usually work.

One TikTok shows employees standing around, scrolling on their phones, and eating snacks as “The Box” by Roddy Ricch plays over the loudspeaker.

“They really made [us] have a meeting to show us this song,” the caption reads.

In another TikTok, an employee lounges on boxes and looks on as workers play a makeshift game with a baseball and bins.

“No complaints had a blast 🤟,” the poster wrote in a comment reply.

One reddit user on an Amazon workers subreddit called the outage a “humanizing” experience.

“Talked with and learned the names of many people I’ve been working alongside for the first time since I started 8 months ago,” they said.

Not all workers could rest during the outage, though. One employee wrote on the subreddit that they were not allowed to use their phone or even sit down.

“Wtf do [you] want us to do twiddle our thumbs?” they wrote.

A TikTok titled with four broken heart emojis showed workers scraping labels off of tables.

Decisions on whether to let workers go home appeared to happen on a warehouse-by-warehouse basis, with some employees offered the option of unpaid leave and others forced to stay.

The outage comes a week after the National Labor Relations Board ordered a revote at an Alabama Amazon warehouse where a union drive failed earlier this year. Amazon’s pushback against the effort prompted the board to call for the revote.

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*First Published: Dec 8, 2021, 10:20 am CST