Amazon Workers Protest Working Conditions At Staten Island Fulfillment Center

Joe Avellar
November 25, 2019 - 7:18 pm
Amazon Protest

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Workers at Amazon’s massive fulfillment center in Staten Island rallied Monday afternoon against high injury rates and poor working conditions.

Numbers from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and statistics from the Bureau of Labor show the fulfillment center is more dangerous than a saw mill or a steel foundry. The injury rate at the warehouse is also reportedly three times higher than similar warehouse work.

Zack Lerner, of New York Communities for Change, said the information was obtained legally by an Amazon worker and the OSHA report is based on the retail giant’s own injury numbers.

He said the statistics are based off the fact that an average of “15.2 workers of every 100 workers suffered an injury that lead to days off of work.”

Workers who protested around 5:30 p.m. Monday said one of the biggest needs in the facility is humane break time.

“Right now they only get two paid 15-minute breaks every day and the workers are asking actually just expand those 15-minute breaks to 30-minute breaks so they can actually kind of rest their bodies,’ Lerner said. “Right now, they're working 10-hour days with many of those 15-minute breaks, it can take up to five minutes just to get to a break room, so some workers just end up sitting at their station.”

Some workers also demanded free MetroCards and asked Amazon to work with the MTA to get better bus service to the facility, which is in Bloomfield, near the Goethals Bridge.

In a statement Amazon said, “It's inaccurate to say that Amazon fulfillment centers are unsafe. Efforts to paint a workplaces such based solely on the number of injury recordings is misleading given the size of our work force.”