Bernie Sanders declares a safety investigation at Amazon

The US Congress is investigating Amazon's warehouse safety practices, adding to the pressure it faces regarding its treatment of workers.

Senator Bernie Sanders announced the investigation, labeling the company one of the "most dangerous" employers in the United States. Recent research indicates that Amazon warehouses in the United States have higher injury rates than comparable facilities.Amazon expressed disagreement with the allegations.

Steve Kelly, the company's spokesman, stated that since 2019, the organization has committed more than one billion dollars to improve safety and has seen a decrease in the number of injuries that have occurred in the United States.

We place a high priority on the well-being of our workforce in terms of both safety and health. He remarked that even while there are always going to be new methods for us to improve, we are proud of the progress that we have accomplished so far.

Mr. Sanders cited a report that was written by the Strategic Organizing Center, which receives funding from labor unions. Using statistics from the government, it was determined that the injury rate at Amazon warehouses in 2022 was almost seventy percent greater than the rate at warehouses operated by other companies.

Authorities from the United States Department of Labor have also filed a series of penalties against the corporation because of the conditions at some of its warehouses. These notices warn of "ergonomic hazards" connected to the rapidity with which staff members process orders. Amazon has filed an appeal in response to the citations.

The probe by the Senate follows the growing attention that Amazon has faced over its treatment of workers since the pandemic. At that time, a global uproar about circumstances prompted walkouts in Europe, inquiries by regulatory agencies, and a campaign by workers to unionize at many US warehouses. This investigation follows in the footsteps of those investigations.

Hundreds of Amazon employees in the city of Coventry are now on strike in the United Kingdom; however, their union just dropped its bid for recognition, accusing the retailing behemoth of engaging in "dirty tricks."

Mr. Sanders, who calls himself a socialist and has made several unsuccessful bids to become the Democratic nominee for president, is well-known for his advocacy of various issues that advance progressive ideals. Previous to this, he has leveled criticism at Amazon on the company's tax policies and wages. As a result of this campaign, Amazon has stated that it was motivated to decide to raise its minimum hourly pay for US workers in 2018 to $15 (or £11.75).

He said the following in a letter that he sent to Amazon to tell the business of the investigation: "The company's quest for profits at all costs has led to unsafe physical environments, intense pressure to work at unsustainable rates, and inadequate medical attention for tens of thousands of Amazon workers every year."

Mr. Sanders, in his capacity as chairman of the Senate committee that is responsible for monitoring the laws governing employment, convened a hearing in Washington earlier this year, at which Starbucks founder Howard Schultz was compelled to provide a public response to allegations that the corporation had unjustly retaliated against baristas who voted to unionize.

The action taken by Mr. Sanders may also result in an investigation during which Amazon will be required to testify.