Senators accuse Amazon of evading labor questions

Amazon has evaded a request from a bunch of senators demanding that it disclose the names of the third-party firms it contracts to ship packages all throughout the US.

In September, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) together with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) penned a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The letter was in response to a report by BuzzFeed Information and ProPublica that uncovered the corporate’s use of contractors to ship its packages, with a deal with the poor therapy and situations these staff face along with the dearth of satisfactory office safety and advantages. Since these firms aren’t owned by Amazon, the corporate can deny all duty.

In its response letter, Amazon claims that it frequently audits its contractors for labor security violations and offers contract staff a “secure network” for elevating complaints. “As a result of information received through the reporting network, we have terminated contracts with DSPs,” Amazon wrote. Nonetheless, it didn’t disclose the names of any of the over 800 supply suppliers it hires.

“I’m deeply disappointed by Amazon’s evasive response,” Blumenthal stated in a press release. “Amazon’s claims that it regularly audits and sanctions delivery service providers ring hollow given the troubling facts laid out in these reports. At a minimum, Amazon is falling far short of its responsibility to ensure its contractors are following labor laws and safety regulations.”

Amazon additionally refused to immediately reply to questions the senators posed alleging that the corporate has labored to dam the creation of a union. In its response letter, Amazon wrote that it “respects its employees’ right, and those of our delivery providers, to choose to join or not join a labor union.”

Over the previous few years, lawmakers and labor activists have taken purpose at Amazon over its labor practices. Final yr, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) launched a invoice that scared Amazon into paying its staff $15 an hour, referred to as the “STOP BEZOS Act,” and stories have surfaced alleging the corporate has didn’t pay its staff time beyond regulation. The corporate has additionally engaged in aggressive anti-union techniques over time, significantly with regard to warehouse staff, and has confronted protests worldwide over working situations.

Amazon chooses to hide behind its delivery partners and a mandated veil of secrecy to protect itself from a disastrous record and true accountability,” Blumenthal stated. “Amazon’s time would be better spent working to provide specific answers to the questions we asked and addressing the troubling issues we raised.”

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