The Seattle Times reports that "Amazon and Seattle-area delivery contractors have agreed to an $8.2 million class-action settlement with drivers who alleged wage theft when they were delivering the commerce giant’s packages.
"The settlement stems from a 2017 suit brought by two drivers, Gus Ortiz and Mark Fredley. The drivers weren’t directly employed by Amazon — they worked for an intermediary company, Jungle Trux, one of hundreds of third-party logistics outfits that Amazon has contracted with in the past decade to speed deliveries to customers’ doorsteps."
However, the story notes, "The drivers wore Amazon uniforms, followed Amazon’s rule book for package delivery, and were supervised by Amazon employees."
The Times goes on: "In their lawsuit, Ortiz and Fredley said Amazon was just as culpable as Jungle Trux in forcing them to work without lunch or rest breaks to deliver between 150 and 200 packages a day to Amazon customers. The drivers said they were never paid for the missed breaks."
The Times notes that this is not an isolated case:
"Similar class-action suits against Amazon and its delivery contractors are ongoing in Texas, Ohio, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Florida, Illinois and Maryland, according to Vice, which first reported news of the settlement with Seattle-area drivers.
"Meanwhile, California this month fined Amazon and another of its delivery contractors nearly $6.5 million for wage-theft violations affecting 718 workers. The state’s labor commissioner found drivers were forced to work through meal and rest breaks to complete their routes and often worked longer than their scheduled shift without additional pay, resulting in 'frequent minimum wage, overtime, meal break, rest period and split-shift violations.'
"And last month, Amazon agreed to pay $61.7 million in tips withheld from its Flex gig drivers, who deliver for the company’s Prime Now, Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods services in their personal vehicles, after an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission."
- KC's View:
Gee, I read this stuff and I cannot imagine why people working in Amazon's Alabama distribution center would want to unionize.