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Amazon’s new CEO claims warehouse worker injuries are ‘misunderstood’

The injury rate among Amazon warehouse workers is “sometimes misunderstood,” Chief Executive Andy Jassy told his first shareholder Letter since he took the helm from Jeff Bezos last year.

After a bitter industrial dispute that saw warehouse workers in New York City become the first company in the US to win the right to organize — and after a new report claiming that Amazon is the warehouse industry leader in employee injuries — Jassy called for it The e The retail giant’s injury rate is “roughly average compared to peers.”

The letter failed to mention that Amazon is struggling to hire warehouse workers in a tight nationwide job market and is also involved in a campaign aimed at recruiting high school students for its warehouse work.

Jassy revealed that Amazon created a list of the “Top 100 Employee Experience Pain Points” that cause “strains, sprains, falls and repetitive strain injuries” on the company’s fulfillment network.

People outside an Amazon store.
Amazon warehouse workers are more likely to have workplace insurance than others in the industry, according to a labor report.
AFP via Getty Images

Amazon, he added, is “systematically” solving each of them.

Some of the injuries stem from Amazon hiring 300,000 employees in 2021 alone, many of whom “were new to this type of work and needed training,” the letter said.

Amazon’s critics have attributed the high productivity targets to rising injury rates, but Jassy didn’t address the speed at which Amazon employees work.

An Amazon package in front of an apartment door.
Amazon is increasingly delivering packages to Prime members within one day instead of two.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

Instead, the company is focused on solutions including “rotation programs” that reduce the time employees spend doing the same repetitive movements, “wearables that alert employees when they’re moving in dangerous ways” and “providing improved shoes.” “. better toe protection.”

“But we still have a long way to go,” he wrote. “When I first started in my new role, I spent a lot of time in our fulfillment centers and with our security team, hoping there might be a silver bullet that could quickly change the numbers. I didn’t find that.”

Jeff Bezos gives a speech.
Jeff Bezos vowed last year to make Amazon the “safest place to work”.
Getty Images for DJ

Amazon has more than a million employees at its 253 fulfillment centers, 110 sortation centers and 467 delivery stations in North America alone, he wrote.

The confusion over injury rates, he said, stems from how jobs are classified at Amazon. “We have operations jobs that fit into both the storage and courier and delivery categories,” Jassy wrote.

He said Amazon’s warehouse injury rates are “slightly higher than average” at 6.4 versus 5.5 at its peers, and “slightly lower” than average across all courier and delivery orders at 7.6 versus 9.1 .

“But we don’t want to be average,” he wrote. “We want to be top of the class”

Andrew Jassy, ​​seated at an event.
Andrew Jassy had hoped to find a ‘magic bullet’ to reduce accidents at work
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jassy’s first shareholder letter was longer — at 5,200 words — than Bezos’ 3,891 last shareholder letter, dated April 15, in which he promised Amazon would be “the best place to work in the world” and the “safest place to work.”

The discussion on injury rates comes amid a high-profile industrial dispute in Bessemer, Alabama, where Amazon workers just voted for a second time on whether to form a union after the National Labor Relations Board ordered a second vote and came to the conclusion that Amazon had interfered with the first one.

Jassy also said that Amazon has focused on improving its delivery times for Prime members, allowing for more one-day deliveries instead of two.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/14/amazons-new-ceo-claims-warehouse-worker-injuries-are-misunderstood/ Amazon’s new CEO claims warehouse worker injuries are ‘misunderstood’

DUSTIN JONES

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