Senate Investigation Into Amazon’s Illegal Practices
In a letter addressed to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, Sanders described the conditions at Amazon’s warehouses as “dangerous and illegal.” The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, led by Sanders as the chair, is spearheading the investigation.
Sanders expressed his concerns on Twitter, stating that he launched the investigation to examine Amazon’s “disastrous safety record.” He emphasized that Amazon, as one of the world’s most valuable companies owned by one of the wealthiest individuals, should be a safe place to work, rather than one of the most dangerous.
The committee has created a website where current and former Amazon employees can share their workplace experiences confidentially. The goal is to gather information on how the company fails to protect its workers and evades responsibility for their necessary medical care.
In his letter, Sanders criticized Amazon’s pursuit of profits at the expense of workers’ safety. He pointed to unsafe physical environments, excessive work pressure, and inadequate medical attention for tens of thousands of Amazon employees each year.
Amazon has faced longstanding criticism regarding its labor practices, with reports of workers resorting to urinating in bottles to avoid taking breaks. The company has also encountered strikes, Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations, and a rise in workplace injury rates.
Senate Investigation Into Amazon
According to the Senate HELP Committee, in 2022, Amazon employees suffered more serious injuries than all other warehouse workers in the country combined, despite employing only a fraction of the warehouse workforce. The company’s serious injury rate is double the industry average.
Amazon spokesperson Steve Kelly responded to the investigation, stating that the company disagrees with Sanders’ assertions. Kelly invited Sanders to tour an Amazon facility to gain a firsthand understanding of their operations.
While Amazon maintains that it takes the safety and health of its employees seriously, Sanders’ investigation aims to shed light on the alleged deficiencies in Amazon’s labor practices. This latest inquiry follows Sanders’ earlier investigation into Starbucks’ labor practices amid ongoing efforts for store unionization.