The Home Committee on Oversight and Reform has opened an investigation into Amazon’s labor practices throughout extreme climate occasions, in response to a letter members despatched to Andy Jassy, Amazon’s chief govt.
“We’re involved by latest stories that Amazon could also be placing the well being and security of its employees in danger, together with by requiring them to work in harmful situations throughout tornadoes, hurricanes and different excessive climate,” mentioned the letter, signed by the committee chairwoman, Carolyn B. Maloney, in addition to Representatives Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The investigation will concentrate on the December twister that hit Amazon’s supply station in Edwardsville, Unwell., killing six individuals. Most individuals on the facility weren’t Amazon’s direct staff. They had been subcontracted supply drivers, a complication that impeded the response when the authorities couldn’t readily decide how many individuals had been on web site. The power didn’t have a twister protected room, which was not required by constructing code.
At the very least one subcontracted driver was informed to maintain delivering throughout the storm, in response to textual content messages Bloomberg Information revealed. Amazon mentioned the subcontractor’s dispatcher didn’t observe its security protocols.
“Our focus continues to be on supporting our staff and companions, the households who misplaced family members, the encompassing group, and all these affected by the tornadoes,” Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokeswoman, mentioned in an announcement. “We are going to reply to this letter in the end.”
Amazon’s labor practices have come underneath growing scrutiny because it has grown to develop into the nation’s second-largest non-public employer, after Walmart. The corporate employs 1.1 million employees instantly in the USA, plus many extra by contractors.
The letter requested Amazon for paperwork and communications associated to the way it managed its work pressure throughout a number of pure disasters, together with fires in California, a warmth wave within the Pacific Northwest and Hurricane Irma in Florida.
“This investigation will inform legislative efforts to curb unfair labor practices, strengthen protections for employees and deal with the consequences of local weather change on employee security,” it mentioned.