September 24, 2023

On Thursday, Motherboard reported that Amazon supply drivers in Palmdale, California have gone on strike, a primary for the corporate. The drivers, who unionized with the Teamsters in April and had been acknowledged by Amazon “Supply Service Accomplice” (DSP) Battle-Examined Methods in Could, are demanding higher pay and improved security circumstances. The 84 putting employees walked out on Thursday.

Motherboard’s unique article used the headline “Amazon Supply Drivers Stroll Out in First-Ever Driver Strike.” Afterwards, a consultant from Amazon emailed the publication to ask that it change its headline. From Motherboard’s article:

“I’m writing to ask when you’d be open to updating your headline of the story you simply posted,” the spokesperson wrote. “It reads that these drivers are ‘Amazon drivers’ and that’s inaccurate given they’re employed by Battle-Examined Methods. Would you replace the headline to learn ‘drivers delivering for Amazon’?”

However Amazon, which makes use of contractor labor for almost all of its fleet, workouts lots of management over these folks it doesn’t technically make use of. Getting past the truth that they put on Amazon garments and often drive supply vans wrapped in Amazon’s art work, the corporate has tightly managed what its drivers are allowed to appear to be and publish on-line, workouts management over when drivers can return if circumstances are unsafe, and forces drivers to simply accept AI surveillance to be employed.

Though these drivers put on Amazon uniforms, drive Amazon vans, establish themselves as Amazon workers, are repeatedly monitored and surveilled by Amazon managers, and obtain their work assignments from Amazon, Amazon has tried to legally separate itself from these workers via a sham “Supply Service Accomplice” (“DSP”) construction. Beneath this DSP construction, Amazon finds people—usually with little to no expertise working companies—and purports to assist these people “begin” companies, all whereas promoting them a false fantasy.

The criticism factors out too that Amazon offers branded vans and uniforms, units targets and circumstances, terminates workers unilaterally, and way more. Based on the doc, Battle-Examined Methods additionally operates from the identical Amazon facility, DAX8, as three different “equally captive” DSPs.

The doc additionally describes the circumstances the drivers face, which incorporates driving with out air con in “inhumane warmth” within the desert, the place temperatures can hit 118 levels Fahrenheit. Contained in the vans, drivers speaking with Motherboard described inner 130-plus-degree temperatures that really feel “like strolling into an oven.”

Situations like that aren’t unusual within the supply world. In reality, final week, whereas representing greater than 340,000 drivers, the Teamsters scored a tentative deal to place air conditioners — air conditioners! — in the entire small bundle supply automobiles owned by UPS.