Probe launched into deadly Amazon Illinois warehouse collapse

US lawmakers are launching an investigation into Amazon’s dealing with of a lethal warehouse collapse in Illinois in December.

In a letter to chief government Andrew Jassy on Thursday, the Home Oversight Committee stated it’s “involved by current experiences 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.”

The warehouse collapsed after a twister ripped by it, killing six workers. Instantly afterward, the federal Occupational Security and Well being Administration introduced that it had launched an investigation into the lethal collapse after experiences surfaced that Amazon workers had been unprepared for such a catastrophe as a result of the corporate had insufficient security protocols.

The Home committee, headed by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), additionally pointed in its Thursday letter to allegations that workers felt “threatened by their supervisors with termination or different adversarial employment penalties” in the event that they left their office to hunt shelter.  As The Submit reported, one of many victims, Larry Virden, texted his girlfriend, “Amazon received’t allow us to depart.”

Amazon workers allege that they weren’t correctly ready for the twister.
AFP through Getty Photographs

The committee, which additionally consists of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.), additionally pointed to different mishandled weather-related occasions, together with a July warmth wave wherein workers at a Seattle-area warehouse had been working in temperatures reaching 90 levels inside the ability.

“This investigation will inform legislative efforts to curb unfair labor practices, strengthen protections for employees, and handle the results of local weather change on employee security,” the lawmakers wrote.

The corporate’s critics additionally pointed to insurance policies that employees will not be allowed to make use of their cellphones on the warehouse ground throughout work hours and that they might have missed essential twister warning alerts.

“Our focus continues to be on supporting our workers and companions, the households who misplaced family members, the encompassing neighborhood, and all these affected by the tornadoes. We are going to reply to this letter in the end,” Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel stated in a press release. 

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