Amazon Delivery Drivers Walk Off the Job Demanding Safety Concerns Be Addressed

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On Thursday, 84 Amazon delivery drivers walked out of their facility on strike demanding that Amazon bargain with them over safety concerns. The Amazon drivers on strike are saying that they suffer from having to work in dangerously high heat, while working for wages that are too low, according to Vice. This is not the first time Amazon workers are protesting their conditions, but it is the first time they have walked off the job in the United States. 

The drivers on strike work for the Amazon delivery service partner (DSP) Battle-Tested Strategies in Palmdale, California. Amazon has asserted that they do not need to bargain with the drivers, arguing that they work for the DSP, which is just contracted by Amazon. However, the union is trying to prove Amazon wrong by arguing that “despite Amazon placing all responsibility onto the DSP, it is in fact in ‘complete control’ of the DSP’s operations.” 


One worker on strike, Cecilia Porter, shared that “the back of an Amazon van feels like an oven in the summer.” Cecilia said, “I’ve felt dizzy and dehydrated, but if I take a break, I’ll get a call asking why I’m behind on deliveries. We are protecting ourselves and saying our safety comes first.”

Teamsters, who are part of the union, said that Amazon is actually violating labor law by “refusing to bargain, surveilling union members, and even terminating the DSP’s contract because of the organizing.” However, an Amazon spokesperson said that “the facts here are being intentionally misrepresented by the Teamsters and BTLT,” adding that “this company has a history of underperformance and not providing a safe environment, and was notified that Amazon was ending their contract before the Teamsters got involved to try and re-write the facts.” 


Still, the director of the Teamsters Amazon Division, Randy Korgan, is standing by the claim that Amazon is not following the law by not caring for “the health of its workers” or “the livelihood of their families.” Korgan maintained that the drivers on strike are “sending a message to Amazon” that they can no longer put profits first, but instead take into consideration the health and well-being of their workers. 

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