The Home Committee on Oversight and Reform has opened an investigation into Amazon’s labor practices throughout extreme climate occasions, in line with a letter members despatched to Andy Jassy, Amazon’s chief govt.
“We’re involved by current stories that Amazon could also be placing the well being and security of its employees in danger, together with by requiring them to work in harmful situations throughout tornadoes, hurricanes and different excessive climate,” mentioned the letter, signed by the committee chairwoman, Carolyn B. Maloney, in addition to Representatives Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The investigation will give attention to the December twister that hit Amazon’s supply station in Edwardsville, Sick., killing six individuals. Most individuals on the facility weren’t Amazon’s direct workers. They have been subcontracted supply drivers, a complication that impeded the response when the authorities couldn’t readily decide how many individuals have been on website. The ability didn’t have a twister protected room, which was not required by constructing code.
A minimum of one subcontracted driver was told to keep delivering in the course of the storm, in line with textual content messages Bloomberg Information revealed. Amazon mentioned the subcontractor’s dispatcher didn’t comply with its security protocols.
“Our focus continues to be on supporting our workers and companions, the households who misplaced family members, the encircling group, and all these affected by the tornadoes,” Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokeswoman, mentioned in an announcement. “We are going to reply to this letter sooner or later.”
Amazon’s labor practices have come below growing scrutiny because it has grown to develop into the nation’s second-largest personal employer, after Walmart. The corporate employs 1.1 million employees immediately in the USA, plus many extra by means of contractors.
The letter requested Amazon for paperwork and communications associated to the way it managed its work drive throughout a number of pure disasters, together with fires in California, a warmth wave within the Pacific Northwest and Hurricane Irma in Florida.
“This investigation will inform legislative efforts to curb unfair labor practices, strengthen protections for employees and tackle the results of local weather change on employee security,” it mentioned.