Bernie Sanders Opens Probe Into Amazon’s “Abysmal” Safety Record

“At each flip,” Sanders stated, “Amazon makes selections that actively hurt employees within the title of its backside line.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is launching a sweeping Senate investigation into Amazon’s “abysmal” unsafe warehouse labor practices after reviews have discovered for years that the corporate is a uniquely harmful place to work.

Sanders, the chair of the Senate Well being, Training, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, sent a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy on Tuesday demanding that the corporate reply to its security report and supply paperwork and information on the corporate’s labor situations, employee turnover, use of sure tools and extreme pace of work expectations, and the way these elements have affected employees.

“The corporate’s quest for income in any respect prices has led to unsafe bodily environments, intense stress to work at unsustainable charges, and insufficient medical consideration for tens of hundreds of Amazon employees yearly,” the letter reads.

“Amazon is nicely conscious of those harmful situations. … But the corporate has made a calculated determination to not implement satisfactory employee protections as a result of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, and also you, his successor as Chief Government Officer, have created a company tradition that treats employees as disposable,” the letter continues. “At each flip — from warehouse design and workstation setup, to tempo of labor necessities, to medical take care of accidents and subsequent stress to return to work — Amazon makes selections that actively hurt employees within the title of its backside line.”

Sanders is also soliciting stories from previous or current Amazon employees, supervisors or medical employees who can assist inform the investigation.

The senator highlighted the story of 1 employee in DuPont, Washington, who began experiencing again ache after simply six months of working at an Amazon facility and developed mid-spine degeneration after a 12 months on the job. Mark Takakura, a former medic within the U.S. Military, obtained a warning from his supervisors after slowing down his tempo of labor to mitigate the ache, which has now develop into continual and can doubtless must be handled for the remainder of his life.

“Me and my veteran buddies at all times say, the army was onerous, nevertheless it was nothing in comparison with Amazon,” Takakura told Insider last year.

Amazon is the second largest employer within the U.S. and its warehouses are the number one source for warehouse employee accidents. 12 months after 12 months, more than half of significant warehouse accidents reported to the Occupational Security and Well being Administration (OSHA) occur at Amazon warehouses, reviews have revealed — regardless of the corporate solely using roughly a 3rd of all warehouse employees nationwide.

In line with the newest report by the Strategic Organizing Heart from April, Amazon had a 70 % larger damage price than non-Amazon warehouses in 2022, whereas the corporate’s critical damage price was greater than double that of different warehouses, at 6.6 critical accidents per 100 employees.

The corporate’s damage report is a results of its unsafe work requirements, employees have stated, introduced on by the corporate’s questionable requirements for crises like fires and tornadoes and its intense work speed requirements. These working situations have been cited as reasons for Amazon employees’ union drives and pushes for brand spanking new labor laws over the previous years.

“Amazon units an instance for the remainder of the nation,” Sanders, who has ceaselessly focused Amazon for its working situations and union busting efforts, recently told The Washington Put up. “What Amazon does, their perspective, their lack of respect for employees, permeates the American company world.”

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