Amazon often comes under scrutiny for the unjust ways it often treats its employees. Over the years, the firm has increasingly been accused of imposing a rigid hyper-surveillant Orwellian structure that disregards basic human rights and safety.
It's also been accused of risking its employees' lives by encouraging them to drive carelessly to meet delivery quotas. Now, two Amazon delivery companies, Triton and Last Mile, in Portland, Oregon are doing something about it, reported Motherboard.
Why are we here?
The firms essentially offered Amazon an ultimatum to either agree to a set of conditions that they said would improve driver safety, or they would shut down — well, Amazon is their only client. Amazon refused, and the two companies actually followed through with their ultimatum.
"Amazon’s conduct over the past two years has become intolerable, unconscionable, unsafe, and most importantly, unlawful," a letter sent to Amazon by the attorney of the two delivery companies and obtained by Motherboard, read.
"The companies were losing money and employees trying to satisfy Amazon and their constant abusive changes,” Tom Rask, an attorney for Last Mile and Triton, told Motherboard. "You have to hire numerous drivers who may or may not be working. One day Amazon dictates that you have thirty routes, the next day forty, then the day after twenty. You’re supposed to have enough drivers for back-up while Amazon is lowering pay. Amazon’s actions are unlawful."
Amongst the companies' demands are an 8.5-hour cap on delivery routes, a commitment to at least 40 routes per company, and $20 per hour per driver. They were also requesting $36 million in compensation.
Triton and Last Milon may be the first contractors to take a stand against Amazon, but they are unlikely to be the last. Rask also said he's received many phone calls from Amazon delivery service partners around the country asking him for legal advice on how to shut down their operations.
Could we be seeing the beginning of a large-scale shutdown of Amazon delivery services? If so, that is one move that could really make a difference as one of Amazon's biggest selling points is its highly convenient delivery services.