A whopping 96% of drivers feel forced to drive dangerously to meet Amazon’s targets, according to a survey of hundreds of drivers from the Organise network.
But Amazon’s 275,000 drivers are hired through 3,000 third-party subcontractors, with whom Amazon can cancel contracts with little explanation or warning, making it particularly difficult for workers to unionize or fight to improve conditions.
Despite the fact that workers who deliver Amazon packages sport branded vests, shirts, and pants; drive Amazon-branded trucks; have schedules and wage floors set by Amazon; receive routes from an Amazon app; and can be disciplined and fired by Amazon, the company claims they aren’t technically employees.
On April 24, the drivers announced that they had formed a union and had bargained a contract with Battle Tested Strategies to address fair pay and worker safety in the heat. They asked that Amazon respect the terms of the new contract, which guarantees $30 hourly wages, health and vehicle safety standards, and the right to refuse unsafe deliveries.
Instead, the company immediately announced that the subcontractor “had a track record of failing to perform and had been notified of its termination for poor performance well before today’s announcement.”