Workers in south central Pennsylvania may be familiar with Amazon fulfillment centers. The warehouses can be popular for their high minimum wage. But many say that the poor conditions of the fulfillment centers overshadow the value of the wages.
Amazon workers have started to speak up about the issues they see in their workplaces. Some of the claims employees have made include:
- Unsafe working conditions – In 2018, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health – a non-profit that advocates for workplace safety – listed Amazon on its “dirty dozen” list. This list highlights the most dangerous companies to work for. Many fulfillment center employees report working in buildings with no air conditioning. And with the productivity rate Amazon expects them to meet, they often don’t have time to cool down.
- Punishment for injuries – Multiple workers reported that Sedgwick – Amazon’s insurer – denied their workers’ compensation claims. And workers have claimed that Amazon punishes those who cannot work due to a workplace injury.
- Unreasonable productivity rates – When workers pick an order, they use a scanner. The scanner times everything that the worker does. This includes using a timer to count down how long it should take a worker to pick an item. If workers can’t meet the demands of the timer, managers write them up. And workers say that the rate Amazon expects them to work at keeps increasing.
Pennsylvania has multiple Amazon fulfillment centers throughout the state. By offering a minimum wage of $15 per hour, these centers can promise a good paycheck. But many workers say that the pay is not worth the conditions.