Amazon Drivers Pressured To Deliver 300 Items Per Day, Pee In Bottles, Involved In Car Accidents: Report

NBC News reports that drivers for Amazon and third party drivers, who deliver for the retail giant, are pushed to the breaking point by delivering 300 times per day, working long hours, urinating in bottles inside delivery vans and, at times, being involved in car accidents, all to deliver packages:

Every morning, drivers including those who had not passed background checks grabbed one before going out on the road, even if the badges had someone else’s name and photo on them. In other cases, drivers didn’t even bother with a badge. The practices were tacitly accepted by Amazon managers who had delivery quotas to meet, according to current and former employees of Amazon as well as contractors who spoke to NBC News…

At other Amazon locations around the United States, similar scenes played out. At a facility in the Northeast, a former driver said he drove a truck using other people’s credentials for months because his background check didn’t clear. When he needed to log in to an electronic scanner — called a “rabbit” — that drivers carry, he would use someone else’s password...

Karamo Rowe, who delivered Amazon packages for a contracted delivery company for several months this year, called the experience “chaos.” Initially, he was attracted to the job because of what he believed would be opportunities to advance. But when he was given more than 300 packages to deliver in a single shift each day, it made him “do things you normally wouldn’t do as a human being.”

“You don’t take your lunch break. You don’t use the bathroom. … There were guys peeing in bottles in the van,” Rowe said, adding that he did the same. “You speed. You run stop signs in a neighborhood. …You start conditioning yourself to just go as fast as possible.”

The Seattle tech giant told NBC News hat it operates a safe delivery network, requires delivery contractors to follow all applicable laws and company regulations, audits contractors for compliance and, when it finds violations, requires improvement or terminates contracts.

ProPublica and The New York Times reported in September that there were more than 60 crashes involving Amazon delivery contractors that resulted in serious injuries, including 10 deaths, since June 2015.

BuzzFeed News reported in August that Amazon is often able to escape legal repercussions because the online retailer uses third party companies who contract drivers to make the deliveries, even though Amazon has control over how those contractors operate:

Valdimar Gray was delivering packages for Amazon at the height of the pre-Christmas rush when his three-ton van barreled into an 84-year-old grandmother, crushing her diaphragm, shattering several ribs, and fracturing her skull.

Business Insider reported in 2018 about the demands made on Amazon delivery drivers:

Once Amazon accepts a courier into its system, it provides a set number of daily delivery routes. Each route, which is assigned to a single driver, has a daily volume of between 250 and 300 packages, on average. Drivers said that number could spike as high as 400 during peak holiday periods.

According to Reveal and the Atlantic magazine, the the rate of serious injuries inside Amazon warehouses is more than double the national average for the industry.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart and Target are hoping to compete with Amazon’s speedy delivery.

(Sources: NBC News, Buzzfeed News, ProPublica, Reveal, The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Photo Credit: Todd Van Hoosear/Flickr)

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