The House Oversight and Reform Committee has opened an investigation into Amazon’s labor practices during extreme weather events, according to a letter members sent to Andy Jassy, its chief executive officer. by Amazon.
“We are concerned by recent reports that Amazon may be putting the health and safety of its workers at risk, including by requiring them to work in hazardous conditions during tornadoes. tornadoes, hurricanes and other extreme weather,” said the letter, signed by the commission’s chairwoman, Carolyn B. Maloney, as well as Representatives Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The investigation will focus on the December tornado that hit an Amazon delivery station in Edwardsville, Ill., killing six people. Most people at the facility are not direct Amazon employees. They are subcontracted delivery drivers, a complication that hampers response when authorities cannot easily determine how many people are on the job site. The facility does not have a tornado safety room, which is not required by building codes.
At least one subcontracted driver was asked to resume deliveries during the storm, according to published Bloomberg News messages. Amazon said the subcontractor’s dispatcher failed to follow its safety protocols.
Kelly Nantel, Amazon spokeswoman, said: “Our focus continues to be on supporting our employees and partners, bereaved families, the surrounding community, and all those impacted by the tornado. eddy. “We will respond to this letter in due time.”
Amazon’s labor practices have come under increasing scrutiny as it has grown to become the country’s second-largest private employer, after Walmart. The company employs 1.1 million workers directly in the United States, plus many others through contractors.
The letter asks Amazon for documents and contact information regarding how it managed its workforce during a number of natural disasters, including fires in California, heatwaves in Northwest Thailand. Binh Duong and Hurricane Irma in Florida.
This investigation will inform legislative efforts to curb unfair labor practices, strengthen worker protections and address the impacts of climate change. for the safety of workers.