Department of Labor should investigate Amazon workplace abuse allegations

April 19, 2018, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the U.S. Department of Labor to investigate allegations of widespread workplace abuses by Amazon, Inc.:

“Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos may be the richest man in the world, with his holdings including the Washington Post among others, but he should not be above the law. It is disturbing that reports continue to emerge from around the world and in the U.S. that allege Amazon is failing to meet basic labor standards in their warehouse operations. In 2011, the conditions of the Allentown, Pa. facility were so bad reportedly that Amazon had to keep an ambulance parked outside to take fallen workers to the hospital on hot days because it lacked air conditioning. More recently, Amazon has been forced to deny claims in the UK that workers had to urinate in bottles to save time because bathroom breaks were not allowed. In November 2017, a class action suit was filed in California for fulfillment centers across the state being denied rest breaks, overtime pay and appropriate payment of wages.

“At a time when state and local governments are promising massive taxpayer handouts to Amazon in exchange for their location of a second corporate headquarters in their jurisdiction, it is time for the U.S. Department of Labor to open Wage and Hour, OSHA and other investigations on Amazon’s practices to ensure that federal labor laws are being complied with.

“What is almost equally distressing about Amazon’s reported shortcomings in the treatment of their labor force is that the Bezos-owned Washington Post appears to be turning a blind eye to their corporate master’s potential liabilities. As the Trump administration seeks to restore the basic concept that no one is above the law, there is no excuse for Amazon to not be subjected the same scrutiny as any other company. If Amazon is found to be implementing the best labor and safety practices, they should lauded, but if the disturbing allegations from around the world are found in America, they should face the full weight of the law.”

Attachments:

“Inside Amazon’s Abusive Labor Practices,” by Marshall Auerback, AlterNet, Jan. 26, 2018 at https://www.truthdig.com/articles/inside-amazons-abusive-labor-practices/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts.

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