Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is leading a congressional probe into Amazon’s warehouse working conditions. In a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, Sanders accused the e-retailer of prioritizing profits over the safety of its employees. Sanders, who chairs the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, called out Amazon’s “dangerous conditions” and called for “adequate worker protections.”
According to Sanders, Amazon’s corporate culture treats its workers as disposable. He demanded that Jassy turn over more information related to Amazon’s injury and turnover rates, as well as data on its on-site medical clinic, dating back to 2019. Sanders also asked if Amazon had examined the connection between the pace of work of its warehouse workers and the prevalence or cost of injuries at its warehouses.
Amazon has received Sanders’ letter and is currently reviewing it. The company has also invited Sanders to tour one of its warehouses. However, Sanders has until July 5 to respond to the inquiry, and the HELP committee has posted a form on its website seeking testimonials from current and former Amazon employees about their experiences at the company.
Amazon’s safety record is not the only concern. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are investigating conditions at several warehouses, while the Department of Justice is examining whether Amazon underreports injuries. Amazon has appealed a string of citations issued by OSHA in recent months around safety hazards and violations.
Amazon claims that it has made progress on reducing injuries across its U.S. operations and continues to invest in safety initiatives, projects and programs. However, Sanders is not the only one taking aim at companies’ workplace records. Under his leadership, the HELP committee has also criticized Starbucks’ handling of workers’ unionization efforts.
Amazon’s warehouse working conditions are under scrutiny by the U.S. Congress. Sanders demanded action against unsafe working conditions at Amazon and called for adequate worker protections. The HELP committee has posted a form on its website seeking testimonials from current and former Amazon employees about their experiences at the company. Amazon’s safety record is not the only concern, as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Justice are investigating conditions at several warehouses. Amazon has appealed a string of citations issued by OSHA in recent months around safety hazards and violations.