Amazon delivery workers threatened with shooting during hurricanes

Workers use equipment to remove a section of the abandoned roof at a badly damaged Amazon freight center in Edwardsville, Illinois.  There is an Amazon Prime delivery truck in the lower left corner.

Workers use equipment to remove a section of the abandoned roof at a badly damaged Amazon freight center in Edwardsville, Illinois.
Photo: Jeff Roberson (AP)

amazon delivery drivers via midwest faced terrible choices last week: Keep driving and parcel delivery center stark hurricane warnings or risk of expulsion.

TExternal messages look by Bloomberg show Painful dilemma The middle Amazon workers faced Deadly tornado outbreak on Friday. in the thread, Says the driver who calls their dispatcher about them Hurricane warning sound. In response, the dispatcher told the driver: “Keep on driving.

After about 40 minutes, The driver sent a follow-up message that they were hearing sirens around them. The sender replied, “Keep on delivering now.” “We have to wait for word from Amazon. If we need to bring people back, it will ultimately be up to them to decide.”

Fearing that a hurricane would turn their truck into a “sarcophagus,The driver requested to return to the facility and shelter, only to be told that this could lead to their termination. “If you decide to come back with your parcel,” said the dispatcher, “it will be seen as refusing your course, which will eventually end in you not having a job that comes tomorrow morning.” “The siren is just a warning.”

The driver was reportedly about 30 miles (48 kilometers) away. away from amazon Edwardsville, Illinois, storehouse, that was lethal By one of the tornadoes that swept through six states. aAt least six workers died due to the storm torn From the surface of the facility and destroying it Two concrete walls 40 feet (12 meters) high. forty five other workers who They were rescued in place. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has since opened Investigation In the collapse of the warehouse.

Warehouse workers and drivers both found themselves risking their lives amid Amazon’s busiest season of the year. Online sales rise Almost every day before Christmas, And online ordering, in general, has seen a boost Because of the changing shopping habits brought about by the epidemic. Amazon’s reliance on a scattered network of contract workers to deliver packages was said to have complicated rescue efforts and created challenges for local police to figure out how many people were at the facility, according to the The New York Times.

When asked why Their drivers were out delivering packages During a very good and dangerous forecast storms, Amazon tried to place most of the blame on its sender.

“This was an evolving situation across a wide geographical area, and unfortunately the delivery partner sender did not follow standard safety practices,” an Amazon spokesperson told Bloomberg. “This dispatcher should have directed the driver immediately to seek shelter when the driver reported hearing the hurricane siren. While conducting this text message exchange, the local Amazon team was ensuring that each delivery partner directed their drivers to the shelter in place or search from a shelter and advised them to stop handing over in the evening.”

But laxity or even non-existence Safety standards fit the style; Other workers interviewed by Bloomberg claimed to have received little training in air safety. A former manager who worked at the fulfillment center near the destroyed facility claimed that the company had not conducted a single hurricane drill in its two full years of working there. Amazon disputed this, saying: Workers are required to take training Covers safety and emergency plans each year.

These first-hand accounts from drivers and facility workers will likely add to a growing set of concerns about Amazon’s safety practices. This week, a group of Amazon contributors make a decision Invite the Board of Directors to conduct an independent audit of the safety of the company’s workplace. This decision –that could be voted on next MayLooks beyond weather events and seeks to explore ways of business practices to maximize Amazon efficiency and productivity Trackers may contribute to worker injuries. The tech giant has faced criticism and legal challenges for it working class Who talked about the unsafe covid-19 protocols, the presence of workers Duty report During the deadly flood, the open warehouses during extreme heat.

Amazon did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment on the decision.

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