Target: Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com
Goal: Improve the labor conditions for warehouse employees
Workers collapsing and being evacuated by paramedics, injured workers being told not to make a report to governing bodies, supervisors pressuring employees to achieve impossible job goals–no, these are not the conditions of a foreign sweatshop, but the conditions faced by workers in warehouses of Amazon.com.
Recent newspaper articles that interviewed former warehouse employees of Amazon have revealed a dark underbelly to the online retailer. The workers spoke of constant safety violations, as temperatures inside the warehouses soared into the triple digits during the summer months. Numerous employees suffered heatstroke, enough that an emergency room doctor near one of Amazon’s Pennsylvania warehouses called federal regulators to report an unsafe work environment.
Warehouse management, meanwhile, has done what it can to keep workers from making their own reports. One man said that he injured his hip on the job but was instructed by a supervisor to tell his doctor that it was not work-related. Others were pressured to manage their injuries in such a way that they would not have to be reported. Several doctors in Kentucky refused to work with the company any longer due to their interference in medical treatments.
And it’s nearly impossible to avoid becoming injured at the work pace demanded by Amazon. The Morning Call, a newspaper in Pennsylvania, reports one former employees as saying, “Everybody gets backaches, but if you slow down, they reprimand you. They’re killing people mentally and physically. They just push, push, push.” The weight of becoming the world’s number one online retailer has been placed onto the shoulders of low-paid workers, who are driven to impossibly high standards. Most cannot meet those standards and are summarily fired.
Federal regulators have conducted several investigations and issued warnings, but consumers must play their part as well. Sign this petition to tell Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos to improve working conditions for warehouse employees.
Dear Mr. Bezos,
Numerous news articles and first-hand accounts have raised concerns about the work conditions in your wholesale warehouses. Workers have described being taken to the hospital after suffering heatstroke and being pressured to hide or manage injuries so that managers can avoid making federal incident reports. Others have spoken of intense pressure to achieve impossibly high goals, and the physical and mental toll that took.
The reports are too many in number to ignore or explain away. It is time for you to take lasting action to improve work conditions for your employees.
[Your Name Here]
(Photo credit: the public domain)