Amazon driver Shawndu Stackhouse delivers packages in Northeast Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Name, Inc. | Getty Pictures
Practically one in 5 drivers making deliveries for Amazon suffered accidents in 2021, a 40% improve from final 12 months’s damage fee, the Strategic Organizing Heart mentioned in a report launched Tuesday.
The SOC, which is a coalition of labor unions together with the Worldwide Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Service Workers Worldwide Union, analyzed knowledge submitted by Amazon and its supply companions to the Occupational Security and Well being Administration in 2021.
Amazon has more and more relied upon a fast-growing community of third-party supply corporations to select up packages at its warehouses and drop them at clients’ doorsteps. The third-party supply corporations are a part of Amazon’s supply service companion program, which was launched in 2018. In just some years, this system has grown to incorporate greater than 2,000 DSPs within the U.S.
However as this system has expanded, Amazon has faced some scrutiny from labor advocates, lawmakers and DSPs who argue the corporate fails to make sure driver security in its race to supply quicker and quicker supply. Supply drivers have additionally complained that the corporate requires them to meet strict production quotas, which will increase the chance of damage on the job.
The SOC report discovered that contracted Amazon supply drivers undergo accidents at practically two-and-a-half instances the speed of the non-Amazon supply business. It additionally discovered that, in 2021, one in seven Amazon drivers sustained accidents that had been so extreme that they both can’t carry out their common job, or are pressured to overlook work altogether, the report states.
Amazon’s last-mile supply stations, the final hyperlink in Amazon’s achievement operations earlier than packages are delivered to clients’ doorsteps, are additionally the “most harmful” sort of Amazon facility, with damage charges greater than 40% larger than warehouses, the report says.
In line with the report, Amazon’s “unmanageably excessive quotas” for supply drivers are a significant catalyst behind the excessive damage charges. It cites a class-action lawsuit filed by a Wyoming Amazon supply companion, which claimed the corporate anticipated drivers to ship about 350-400 packages per day per van. This quantities to drivers making one supply each 1 to 2 minutes, presuming they do not take any breaks, the report mentioned.
Amazon supply drivers generally undergo accidents from journeys, slips and falls, strains, canine bites, automobile accidents and hanging an object, corresponding to a fence put up, in line with the report, which cites data from Pinnacol Assurance, a staff’ compensation insurance coverage provider in Colorado that analyzed Amazon DSP workforce claims in 2020.
In January, Amazon disclosed it spent $300 million on employee security enhancements in 2021. It mentioned the speed of workers who missed work resulting from office damage dropped by 43% in 2020 from the prior 12 months.
Earlier this 12 months, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy mentioned in his first letter to shareholders since taking the helm final July that Amazon’s damage charges had been “a bit of decrease than the typical of our courier and supply friends.”
SOC researchers argue that declare is “deceptive on a number of ranges” as a result of it makes use of outdated knowledge and excludes Amazon’s community of DSP drivers.
“Drivers employed by Amazon DSPs possible account for half of all Amazon supply system staff within the U.S., but the corporate doesn’t embody these drivers in its public reporting of damage charges,” the report states.
Amazon has instituted insurance policies and measures aimed toward bettering security amongst its supply driver workforce, corresponding to an app referred to as “Mentor.” Drivers are required to constantly run the app whereas they’re on the job, and it generates a each day rating of their driving efficiency. However drivers previously told CNBC the app produces errors, leading to a decrease rating.
Final February, Amazon additionally started putting in AI-enabled cameras in delivery vans to extend security.
Growing surveillance of workers hasn’t helped to scale back damage charges amongst Amazon supply drivers, in line with the SOC. Harm charges for DSP drivers rose 38% from 2020 to 2021, “regardless of Amazon’s introduction of extra surveillance in early 2021,” the report states.
The SOC mentioned these methods improve the stress that drivers really feel to work at quicker speeds to fulfill their supply quotas.
“The actual situation is Amazon’s sky-high manufacturing stress and supply quotas which push Amazon staff to work too quick and DSP drivers to threat damage as they rush to hit supply targets,” in line with the report.
Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel disputed the examine’s findings. In 2020, Amazon noticed a rise in recordable accidents amongst its workforce because it went on a hiring spree throughout the coronavirus pandemic to maintain up with a surge in on-line orders, the corporate mentioned.
“This report cherry picks knowledge from lower than 10% of our supply companions to inform an inaccurate and deceptive story,” Nantel mentioned. “Security is a precedence throughout our community, which is why we have rolled out know-how like progressive digicam methods which have helped result in an general discount in accident charges of practically 50%, and we’ll hold investing in new security instruments to attempt to get higher each day.”