With the number of people who use Amazon these days, they must be extremely busy. Many people don’t even go shopping anymore, in the traditional sense. They just order from Amazon. Workers there have complained, and now Amazon is being investigated.
Federal prosecutors and the Department of Labor are investigating Amazon warehouses in three states. It’s part of a civil investigation into whether the pace that Amazon pushes its employees to achieve is causing workplace injuries.
The states where investigations are taking place are Illinois, New York and Florida. The investigations stem from referrals received from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. “The Civil Division of the SDNY is investigating potential worker safety hazards at Amazon warehouses across the country, as well as possible fraudulent conduct designed to hide injuries from OSHA and others,” said SDNY chief spokesperson Nicholas Biase.
Amazon has had a lot of complaints surrounding work conditions there. It has been accused of making drivers pee in bottles. The company was recently fined $60,000 for “knowingly putting workers at risk of injury” at a Kent, Washington fulfillment center. An Amazon worker recently said, “We want a safer and better working environment, where we’re treated like human beings and not like machines.”
Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told CNBC in a statement: “We’ll of course cooperate with OSHA in their investigation, and we believe it will ultimately show that these concerns are unfounded.”
The investigations come right after Amazon Prime Days, which took place on July 12 and 13. Amazon boasted that Prime Days drew in record sales, but it also led to worker protests and walkouts over working conditions. Employees in some states are trying to unionize to make conditions better. At the same time, Amazon spent $4.3 million last year on consulting firms to fight unionization.
When you think about it, it is pretty amazing that something you ordered yesterday could arrive today. Consumers enjoy getting their items that fast, but it comes at a price. Maybe Amazon does need to automize, but then there’d be fewer jobs. What do you think the right answer is?