A coalition of US unions attacked Amazon again on Tuesday, saying a need for speed in warehouses is causing injuries to workers.
Amazon warehouse workers are injured more often and more seriously than their peers employed at retail competitors such as Walmart, the Strategic Organizing Center said in a report based on data provided to Occupational Health & Health. Safety Administration.
“The company’s obsession with speed has cost Amazon’s workforce dearly,” the union-formed center said.
Amazon’s priority is to deliver orders to customers in just one or two days. Meanwhile, online shopping has skyrocketed during the pandemic.
Amazon has invested heavily in occupational health and safety, implementing new technologies, processes and precautions to reduce the risk of injury, spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said in response to an AFP investigation.
“Although one incident is one incident too many, we are constantly learning and seeing improvements through ergonomics programs, guided exercises at employee workstations, mechanical support equipment, configuration and maintenance. workstation design, as well as telematics and forklift guardrails, to name a few, ”Nantel said. .
The report’s release comes as Amazon is poised to lead Prime Day sales which have turned into huge online shopping days due to steep price discounts.
Last year, there were about six serious injuries per 100 Amazon workers, causing employees to take time off or be assigned light duties, according to OSHA data cited in the center’s report.
That compares to an average serious injury in the warehouse industry of just over three per 100 workers, the report says.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos told investors in April that the e-commerce giant needed a better “vision” for its workers after an effort to create the world’s first union failed. ‘business.
Unions and political leaders have argued that Amazon employees are under constant pressure and scrutiny, with little job protection, underscoring the need for collective bargaining.
The Seattle-based ecommerce and technology powerhouse hired 500,000 people last year and now directly employs some 1.3 million people worldwide, according to Bezos.