Workers at Amazon’s Staten Island packing facility say Jeff Bezos
deserves a lump of coal in his stocking for running roughshod over them,
especially during the busy holiday season.
Over a hundred Amazon workers and their supporters gathered outside
the facility on Monday to protest working conditions that they say only
worsen as the e-tailing giant gears up to deliver a rush of packages
ahead of Christmas and Hanukkah.
The workers, who gathered outside the warehouse around 5:30 p.m.,
carried signs, chanted slogans and demanded a manager emerge from the
building to accept a petition signed by 600 people — and addressed to
Amazon chief executive Bezos, tied for richest man in the world with
Their petition demands longer work breaks and more dedicated MTA
buses to the far-flung facility. It also protests newly released injury
data showing that the rate of worker injury at the facility is three
times higher than similar warehouse work.
“It has become clear that our safety is a secondary concern in your
eyes, lagging far behind line speed,” the petition said. “There are only
weak plans in place to prevent more pain, more injuries, and more
deaths as we enter the hardest time of the year,” the letter said.
Amazon’s eyebrow-raising injury rates at the warehouse, which opened
in 2018, where released Monday by labor advocacy group Make the Road New
York based on Amazon’s own submissions to the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration. Among the injuries reported were sprains and
strains from pushing, pulling and lifting machinery and merchandise.
And because the facility is kept at an overly warm temperature,
workers sometimes pass out from overheating, said Frank Kearl, staff
attorney for Make the Road.
“There are serious structural problems in the way that facility is operating,” Kearl said.