nearly one in five Amazon delivery workers injured in 2021, unions say

A work injury rate that is more than double that of the rest of the industry (7.6%), according to a report.

More than 18% of Amazon delivery workers, employed by the group’s subcontractors, suffered workplace injuries in 2021, a rate that jumped 40% year on year, according to a coalition of American unions. “Amazon’s huge profits have cost the delivery staff dearly. Many of them have sacrificed their bodies to meet the company’s aggressive productivity demands.asserts the Strategic organizing center (SOC) in a report published on Tuesday.

This rate of work accidents is more than double that of the rest of the industry (7.6%), according to figures contained in the report. They recall that Andy Jassy, ​​the boss of the e-commerce giant, recently said in a letter to shareholders that the injury rate among delivery workers was “a little lower than among our peers”.

But according to the report, this assertion is based on dated data, which does not take into account the subcontractors, while the drivers recruited by these employers “probably make up half of Amazon’s delivery system workers in the United States.” Amazon did not immediately react to a request from AFP. The drivers’ injuries are mainly due to falls, sprains, dog bites and traffic accidents, according to the main insurer of these workers in the state of Colorado.

Sacramento precedent highlighted

In question, according to the unions, the undue pressure which is inflicted on them. They cite an example from a complaint, where a Sacramento, California driver was supposed to make a delivery – either “park, sort, deliver and document the task” – every one to two minutes, for ten hours without a break, to meet the imposed quotas. “Amazon has focused on controlling driving behavior through its Mentor app and artificial intelligence cameras, ignoring evidence that production pressure leads to dangerous driving and injury”adds the coalition.

At the beginning of April, it published another report, showing that almost half of the accidents at work in warehouses in the United States occurred at Amazon in 2021, while the group employs only a third of this category of workers. employees in the country. The platform had explained this situation by the need to hire quickly “tens of thousands of people to meet the unexpected demand” related to the pandemic. “However, when you compare 2021 to 2019, our work injury rate declined 13% year over year,” said Kelly Nantel, a spokeswoman for the group.

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