25 signatures reached
AMAZONIANS UNITED Demands An Amazon That Works For All Of Us
1. We demand a clear inclement weather policy that takes workers into account.
Floods, snow, ice and heavy storms risk the lives of Amazon’s commuting workers. School closures leave parents without childcare on short notice. Amazon’s lack of a clear, consistent policy on when to close because of weather leaves the responsibility for deciding whether it’s safe to come in entirely on workers, and incentivizes us to come in even when we’re worried about dangerous weather.
Between the National Weather Service and Amazon’s own weather tool, Kepler51, this company has ample notice of dangerous conditions. But, time after time, management puts off deciding whether to cancel the shift until we’ve already arrived at work, then tries to get us to take VTO (Voluntary Time Off, for non-Amazonian readers) and agree to go home early without pay for the rest of the shift. Often, the official decision to close is made so late that workers end up stranded far from home in now-dangerous weather.
• All shifts cancelled due to weather be paid.
• If schools close due to weather but Amazon does not, all workers who stay home receive 80% pay, no questions asked.
• Text message notifications be sent out at least two hours before the start of a cancelled shift. If a shift is cancelled after that point, all absences should be excused and Amazon should pay for transportation home for any workers without cars.
2. Our phones stay with us for emergencies.
Amazon recently snuck a mention into announcements to its workers that the current cell phone policy, which allows all workers to keep our phones with us in case of emergencies, will expire December 31st.
It’s an open secret that Amazon wants to continue rolling back its COVID protections, and is especially eager to return to the pre-COVID phone ban in January. Under the old policy, non-management workers had to leave our phones in our cars or in lockers near the entrances, despite Amazon facilities’ lack of a way for schools, hospitals, or nursing homes to reach workers in emergencies.
The phone ban isn’t about our safety — it’s about their control. UPS and other companies that allow phones have better safety records than Amazon. We have families. We demand that Amazon allow us to keep our phones with us so they’ll be able to reach us.
3. We deserve a permanent $3/hr raise.
Amazon granted seasonal raises of $2-$3 per hour between October 17 and January 1 to some delivery stations (like DBK1 and DEW8), but not others (like DMD9 and DNJ3). Workers at every Amazon warehouse deserve this $3/hr raise, retroactive to October 17th — and we deserve it to be permanent.
4. Reinstate extended breaks.
Amazon recently shortened our breaks by five minutes. Our 20-minute breaks were already too short. Reducing them to fifteen allows us barely enough time to rest. For many of us in larger warehouses, it takes five minutes just to get to our cars or lockers. Five minutes doesn’t matter much to Amazon, but it matters to us. We demand to keep our 20-minute breaks.
5. End understaffing and keep the pace of work at a safe and sustainable level.
Amazon incentivizes understaffing, minimizing labor costs by making workers rush around doing the job of another person as well as their own. This is stressful, makes us work at an unsafe speed, and increases workplace injuries. We demand Amazon allocate one role to each worker for each shift, and adequately staff all positions to allow us to work at a safe speed.
6. Give delivery stations a fair appeals process.
At Amazon’s fulfillment and sortation centers, fired employees can appeal their termination to a jury of their coworkers, and can be reinstated if the termination is deemed unjustified. Delivery station employees deserve the same job security. We demand the same appeals process other Amazon workers get.
7. More PTO.
We work hard year-round to deliver packages on time. We need time off to recover.
Why is this important?
How it will be delivered
On Thursday, December 16 and Friday, December 17, six warehouses under the banner of Amazonians United delivered copies of a joint petition with the signatures of 380 workers to management at six Amazon warehouses across the Northeast seaboard.
Management has not officially responded to the petition. However, we were gratified to hear on Saturday that the cell phone ban is reportedly “off until further notice" as reported by Bloomberg.