Amazon’s growth from an online retailer to changing how packages are delivered is well documented. While the company has seen its share of controversy, they continue to dominate the “e-tail” industry.
However, only some working for the company is thriving. According to the Strategic Organizing Center, a coalition of labor unions, twenty percent of Amazon delivery drivers suffered injuries while traveling throughout 2021. The 40 percent increase from the previous year has many fearing that the problem is already becoming a crisis.
Overreliance on contract drivers?
The company’s use of contracted delivery companies to pick up and deliver packages started in 2018. The famed speed of the deliveries seems to be at the expense of drivers’ safety. Currently, the program has grown to include more than 2,000 DSPs throughout the nation.
However, the increased pace of deliveries has caught the attention of labor advocates, lawmakers, and fellow DSPs. They cite failure to keep drivers safe at the expense of speeding up already fast deliveries. Additionally, the unmanageably high production quotas have drivers pushing to achieve their goals, often leading to accidents that injure them.
Last-mile delivery stations that represent the final destination before the delivery of packages are believed to be the most dangerous of all facilities within the company. Injury rates are purportedly 40 percent higher than the company’s warehouses.
A recent class-action lawsuit filed by an Amazon delivery partner in Wyoming accuses the company of 350 to 400 packages-per-van quotas that require deliveries every one to two minutes, making breaks operation, if not impossible.
The tarnish on Amazon is evident as more stories make mainstream news. Their current model may work for their customers but could put workers at risk of serious injuries or fatalities.