Amazon Has Been Accused Of Evading Questions Over Labor Practices

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Amazon has reportedly evaded a request from a group of senators demanding that it disclose the names of the third-party companies it contracts to deliver packages all across the United States.

In September, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) along with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) penned a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The letter was in response to a report by BuzzFeed News and ProPublica that uncovered the company’s use of contractors to deliver its packages, with a focus on the poor treatment and conditions those workers face in addition to the lack of adequate workplace protection and benefits. Since these companies are not owned by Amazon, the company can deny all responsibility.

In its response letter, Amazon wrote that it regularly audits its contractors for labor safety violations and provides contract employees a secure network for raising complaints. As a result of information received through the reporting network, we have terminated contracts with DSPs. However, it did not disclose the names of any of the over 800 delivery providers it hires.

In a statement Blumenthal said:“I’m deeply disappointed by Amazon’s evasive response. Amazon’s claims that it regularly audits and sanctions delivery service providers ring hollow given the troubling facts laid out in these reports. At a minimum, Amazon is falling far short of its responsibility to ensure its contractors are following labor laws and safety regulations.”

Amazon also refused to directly respond to questions the senators posed alleging that the company has worked to block the creation of a union.

In its response letter, Amazon wrote that it respects its employees right, and those of our delivery providers, to choose to join or not join a labor union.