Amazon (U.S): The cost of next day delivery
In a disturbing feature which raises questions in the Australian context, BuzzFeed explores how Amazon, the world's largest retailer, has brought 'chaos and carnage' to the streets of the U.S, but has a system which has to date allowed it to escape blame. It involves sub-contracting to firms which in turn sub-contract to individual delivery drivers. But it's Amazon that sets goals which are impossible to reach unless drivers don't take breaks (meaning they can't even take toilet breaks), work extremely long hours and then end up wearing the blame if they are involved in car crashes. The investigative article looks at the case of a 29-year-old driver, who - racing to drop Amazon packages on doorsteps throughout Chicago - ran over an 84-year-old grandmother, crushing her diaphragm, shattering several ribs, and fracturing her skull. She died as a result of her injuries.
The young man would later be charged with reckless homicide. The investigating officers did not ask him about the constant pressure for speed he faced as a driver for Inpax Shipping Solutions - one of hundreds of small companies that make up Amazon’s gigantic delivery network across America. If they had, they would have discovered that the company’s drivers worked under relentless demands to deliver hundreds of packages each shift - for a flat rate of about US$160 a day - at the direction of dispatchers who often compel them to skip meals, bathroom breaks, and any other form of rest, discouraging them from going home until the very last box is delivered.
The woman's grieving family has sought redress by suing Amazon, Inpax, and the driver for wrongful death. However, the e-commerce giant refused to accept any responsibility. “The damages, if any, were caused, in whole or in part, by third parties not under the direction or control of Amazon.com,” its lawyers said.
Read more: Amazon’s Next-Day Delivery Has Brought Chaos And Carnage To America’s Streets, BuzzFeed