NEW YORK CITY — Dozens of New York lawmakers are demanding safety fixes at Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse which a recent analysis shows is more dangerous than a coal mine.
Forty-two members of New York’s City Council, state Senate and Assembly wrote Amazon Monday to demand worker safety improvements at its million-square-foot JFK8 Fulfillment Center in Bloomsfield.
“We continue to receive incredibly disturbing reports of dangerous working conditions in the Amazon Warehouse on Staten Island that we believe must be addressed,” wrote lawmakers, who include City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Comptroller Scott Stringer.
“It seems clear that some major changes may be necessary in your corporation.”
Amazon’s press office did not immediately respond to Patch’s request for comment, but this article will be updated upon receipt.
The missive comes weeks after Make The Road New York, an immigrant and workers rights group, released an analysis showing 15 out of every 100 employees injured in 2018, making it one of the nation’s most dangerous jobs.
That’s nearly five times the incident rate seen in coal mining and logging as well as three times the rate seen in the warehousing industry, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show.
The report — an analysis of Occupational Safety and Health Administration data — came on the heels of Amazon’s “peak season” from Thanksgiving through New Years, when workers say they are forced to work mandatory overtime under continuous pressure to increase speeds.
In 2018, hurt employees missed an average two months works because injuries sustained and, during peak season, 63 people were injured, 17 so badly they were never able to come back to work, the report said.
New York lawmakers asked Amazon to meet worker’s demands — named in a 600-signature petition — to improve conditions.
Workers asked Amazon to provide longer work breaks and more dedicated MTA buses to the hard-to-reach warehouse.
“We will be watching to be sure that Amazon management responds supportively to address and remedy the workers’ concerns,” said the elected officials. “And we assure you that we will not tolerate any retaliation or adverse action of any sort against these courageous workers for speaking up.”