Lawmakers demand answers from Amazon after warehouse deaths
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Lawmakers demand answers from Amazon after warehouse deaths

A gaggle of progressive Democratic lawmakers, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Reps. Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is demanding answers from Amazon after six folks have been killed in a twister strike at certainly one of its warehouses in Illinois.

A letter despatched Monday to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy and founder Jeff Bezos says the occasions that occurred on December tenth on the Edwardsville facility “match a bigger sample: Amazon places employee security in danger in on a regular basis conditions and emergencies alike.

“As we work to make sure that tragedies similar to this one usually are not repeated, we search answers about what occurred at your Edwardsville warehouse,” the letter continues, “and whether or not your insurance policies might have contributed to this tragedy.”

A separate letter, signed by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), was despatched Monday afternoon to labor secretary Martin Walsh, asking him to make use of the powers of his division to “make sure that Amazon is treating its employees pretty and with dignity.” The Occupational Security and Well being Company (OSHA), a subsidiary of the division of labor, launched an investigation into the warehouse co on Friday.

“Amazon’s dimension and scope necessitate explicit scrutiny by federal regulators when widespread and credible allegations of labor and employment regulation violations floor,” the letter reads. “Amazon has confronted a number of fees of unfair labor practices in latest months, and recurring employee strikes and makes an attempt to prepare replicate a persistent frustration with the corporate’s administration.”

The twister was a part of a posh of utmost climate centered in western Kentucky on December tenth, leaving at the very least 58 useless over greater than 150 miles. The trail of destruction included Amazon’s success middle in Edwardsville, which was fully destroyed by the strike. Within the aftermath of the constructing collapse, experiences emerged that employees on the warehouse didn’t obtain correct security coaching, and an total lack of preparedness by Amazon left employees in hurt’s method, regardless of climate warnings that tornadoes have been doubtless that day.

Sen. Warren stated in an e-mail to The Verge that the circumstances in Edwardsville served as “one other reminder that Amazon’s anti-worker and anti-union practices put their employees immediately in hurt’s method. Placing company income above the well being and security of employees is unacceptable.”

Along with Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), the Edwardsville letter can be signed by Democratic Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Ed Markey (D-MA) and Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Jesus Garcia (D-IL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jerry McNerny (D-CA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Paul D. Tonko (D-NY), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), and Andy Levin (D-MI). It takes situation with a protracted record of issues at Amazon amenities.

The letter features a record of questions for Amazon to reply by January third. Particularly, the lawmakers ask who was working on the Edwardsville warehouse on December tenth and what security insurance policies Amazon had in place, in addition to whether or not Amazon required employees on the plant to stay at work regardless of the twister warning.

Final week, Bloomberg reported {that a} close by driver was instructed to proceed deliveries simply 90 minutes earlier than the twister strike, being advised by their dispatcher that the storm sirens have been “only a warning.” Amazon is investigating the incident and has stated that the dispatcher “ought to have instantly directed the motive force to hunt shelter.”

The lawmakers additionally write they’re “deeply involved” about experiences that Amazon plans to reinstate its cell phone ban, which it paused in 2020 due to COVID. Nevertheless, Amazon spokesperson Alisa Carroll advised The Verge final week that the corporate had up to date its cellular phone coverage. “All reporting that it’s been rolled again to pre-COVID is solely not true and factually incorrect,” Carroll stated.

Two of the folks killed within the Edwardsville warehouse collapse have been constituents of Rep. Bush, who represents a district in St. Louis. She stated in an announcement that “Amazon’s income ought to by no means come at the price of our group’s lives, well being, and security. This can’t grow to be the price of doing enterprise in America.”

Replace 4:06PM ET: Added information of extra letter to labor secretary Martin Walsh.

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