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Senators, Amazon Teamsters call out Amazon’s mistreatment of delivery drivers
Updated On: Jan 10, 2024

Jan. 10, 2024  |  Amazon delivery drivers from Palmdale, CA joined Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and a bipartisan group of senators on Capitol Hill this morning to put a spotlight on Amazon's exploitative Delivery Service Partner (DSP) program. Murphy led 28 of his Senate colleagues in sending a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy requesting information about the company’s business model which subcontracts delivery drivers while controlling their working conditions at every level.

The senators expressed concerns that Amazon's DSP program is a scheme to avoid legal liability for high injury rates and the persistent mistreatment of DSP drivers. “Delivery drivers at Amazon have an injury and accident rate of 20 percent,” Murphy said. “It’s time for Amazon to do the right thing and take responsibility for the working conditions of some of its most important employees.”

"We filed our case with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in April and we need your help to pressure the NLRB to do its job so myself and my co-workers can get back to work driving for our true employer, Amazon," said Jesse Moreno, a DSP driver and member of Teamsters Local 396. "We thank everyone who has signed on to this letter and we encourage more to sign on so every Amazon employee can fight for what our brothers and sisters at UPS have: a fair contract, a livable wage, and the respect we all deserve."

“Amazon is the hand. Amazon has decided to get all of its goods delivered across America by pulling on a glove. That is, using a corporate third-party to shield the hand. With the hand in that glove, Amazon feels safe to break laws that guarantee drivers fair and safe working conditions and to ignore the union that represents those drivers,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who has signed on to the letter to Amazon.

“Make no mistake, these workers are paid for by Amazon, they wear Amazon’s uniform. They are, in effect, Amazon workers. Amazon doesn’t have to treat these workers unfairly. It doesn’t have to injure these workers. It doesn’t have to avoid its responsibility to make a profit. It’s all about corporate greed,” added Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), another signatory to the letter.

The letter to Amazon from Murphy and others cites numerous alleged violations of the National Labor Relations Act, including refusal to recognize and bargain with workers who joined Teamsters Local 396 last year, holding captive audience meetings to stifle worker organizing efforts, reducing DSP routes in response to union activity, and terminating DSP employees in retaliation for union organizing and other protected activities.

"Amazon controls nearly every aspect of DSP drivers’ jobs, including their routes, and subjects them to constant surveillance and harassment. Yet Amazon claims these drivers are not its employees. Amazon has created a vast delivery network that is driving down wages and safety standards, undermining good American jobs in the industry. It’s time for Amazon to be held accountable for this dangerous business model," said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien.

"Last year, my co-workers and I came together to organize for better working conditions, wages, and benefits -- all of which are controlled by Amazon," said Jarrid Long, a Local 396 Amazon driver. "Amazon refuses to recognize or bargain with our union because it claims we don’t work for them. So we are fighting back. We've been on strike since June and have extended our picket line to dozens of Amazon delivery stations and warehouses. Everywhere we go, we find other Amazon workers who are fed up and ready to join the fight."

"As Amazon drivers, we are regularly put in unsafe conditions while on route. My kids shouldn’t have to worry about mom getting home safely because of Amazon’s greed and negligence," said Brandi Diaz, another Amazon Teamster from Palmdale.

Other U.S. senators who signed the letter: 

Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) 
Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
Ben Cardin (D-Md.)
Bob Casey (D-Pa.)
Catherine Cortez Mastro (D-Nev.)
Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)
Josh Hawley (R-Mo.)
Martin Heinrich (D-N.Mex.)
Maizie Hirono (D-Hawaii)
Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
Roger Marshall (R-Kansas)
Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
Gary Peters (D-Mich.)
Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.)
Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
Tina Smith (D-Minn.)
J.D. Vance (R-Ohio.)
Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)
Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.)
Peter Welch (D-Vt.)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

Originally posted on Teamsters Facebook

Teamsters Local 355
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