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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, on Tuesday announced an investigation into the working conditions in Amazon warehouses.
Sanders sent a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy calling for information on injury rates, which he said are “systematically underreported,” as well as employee turnover, productivity rates, and the company’s compliance with national and state safety recommendations.
He goes on to call the conditions at Amazon warehouses “uniquely dangerous,” citing a report on the serious-injury rate that found it was more than double the industry average in 2021 at Amazon warehouses.
“Amazon is one of the most valuable companies in the world, worth $1.3 trillion and its founder, Jeff Bezos, is one of the richest men in the world worth nearly $150 billion,” Sanders wrote. “Amazon should be one of the safest places in America to work, not one of the most dangerous.”
“Amazon sets an example for the rest of the country,” Sanders told The Washington Post in an interview. “What Amazon does, their attitude, their lack of respect for workers, permeates the American corporate world.”
The Post noted that it is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and the newspaper’s interim chief executive, Patty Stonesifer, sits on the company’s board.
A spokesperson for Amazon, Steve Kelly, told the Post that the company “received Chairman Sanders’ letter this evening and [we] are in the early stages of reviewing it.”
Kelly also said that Amazon has extended an open invitation for Sanders to tour one of its warehouses, and noted, “We’ve invested more than $1 billion into safety initiatives, projects and programs in the last four years, and we’ll continue investing and inventing in this area because nothing is more important than our employees’ safety.”
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