The online giant Amazon wants to enable longer breaks for employees in the US warehouses. The accident rate there is almost 80 percent higher than in other corporations.
According to a report on an increase in work accidents due to the high pressure on Amazon the online giant is relaxing its working conditions in the USA. Employees would have more time for breaks, the Seattle-based company announced on Tuesday (local time). “Workers at Amazon sites are injured more often and more severely than in other companies’ warehouses,” said a previously published report by a coalition of trade unions.
The so-called Time Off Task System, which uses algorithms to measure the productivity of employees when sorting, packing and moving packages, “can easily be misinterpreted,” wrote the head of global sales at Amazon, Dave Clark, to his employees . “As of today, ‘Time off Task’ will take longer on average,” he promised, without giving any details.
Many employees and associations accuse Amazon of causing unnecessary stress by not allowing enough time to go to the toilet in its logistics centers, for example.
Almost 80 percent more accidents than at other companies
According to a study by the so-called Strategic Organizing Center founded by the trade unions, almost six percent of employees suffered an accident in the past year that forced them to take a temporary break or other, less physically demanding work. “That rate is nearly 80 percent higher than any other warehouse employer in 2020,” the report said.
When asked by the AFP news agency, a company spokeswoman said: “We have expanded our dedicated team for health and safety at work to more than 6,200 employees and invested more than a billion dollars in new safety measures by 2020.”
Amazon prevents union initiatives
Amazon is criticized in the US for its working conditions. At the beginning of April the attempt to form a union representation at the company failed for the first time – a large majority of the employees in the logistics center in Bessemer, Alabama, voted against the employee representation.
The initiative of the trade union RWDSU sparked a nationwide debate about the working conditions at the mail order company with its 800,000 employees in the USA. Unions and politicians criticize the fact that the employees at Amazon are exposed to high work pressure and permanent control.
Amazon itself had taken decisive action against the union plans. The company benefits massively from closed shops in the wake of the corona lockdowns. The group employs around 1.3 million people worldwide; In 2020, around 500,000 additional people were hired.