In The US, A Bipartisan Push To Investigate Amazon's Labour Practices

by Swarajya Staff - Dec 22, 2021 01:11 PM +05:30 IST
In The US, A Bipartisan Push To Investigate Amazon's Labour Practices People protesting against Amazon at New York

Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown have issued a joint letter to US Secretary of Labour Martin Walsh. The letter urges Walsh to launch an investigation into Amazon's labour practices, according to a report from Newsweek.

The letter states that "recent reports have brought to light troubling working conditions at Amazon that suggest improper treatment of its employees, to the detriment of workers and families across the country."

"While U.S. labor and employment laws should always be vigorously upheld, Amazon's size and scope necessitate particular scrutiny by federal regulators when widespread and credible allegations of labor and employment law violations surface", the letter adds.

Amazon is the biggest employer in America after Walmart. The company employs nearly 1.5 million Americans. With a market cap of more than $1.7 trillion, it is the fourth largest company in the world.

The Senators write that Amazon subjects its employees to gruelling hours and remains unresponsive to the concerns of its employees. They also draw attention to the company's 'highly automated management practices'.

The letter by Senator Rubio and Senator Brown to US labour secretary Walsh highlights a specific recent incident to illustrate why Amazon's labour practices must be investigated by federal regulators.

The recent incident which was widely shared on social media is that of a former Amazon warehouse employee's girlfriend giving everyone a glimpse at Amazon's labour practices. She alleged that her boyfriend had texted her stating the company won't allow him to leave work despite the area facing a storm.

Her boyfriend worked at Amazon's warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois. Some time after he texted his girlfriend mentioning that the company wasn't allowing him to leave work despite the storm, a tornado struck the warehouse. The end result was death of this person and 5 other employees. All of whom could have been possibly saved if the company allowed them to leave.

Amazon also faces several allegations of not granting its employees enough time to use restrooms, resulting in employees having to pee in bottles. The bipartisan letter to the US Secretary of Labour is a sign of some Republicans shifting their focus on working class voters, resulting in an affirmation of the horseshoe theory.

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