Amazon warehouse workers demand safer conditions, independent safety audit

AMAZON WORKERS marched on the boss at the company’s STL8 warehouse last week to demand safer working conditions and an independent safety audit. – STL8 Organizing Committee photo


St. Peters, MO – Dozens of Amazon STL8 warehouse workers here marched on the boss May 23 to deliver a petition to demand safer conditions on the job. The petition, signed by more than 400 workers, urged Amazon to implement safer work rates, more break time, implementation of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety recommendations, and an independent safety audit.

“My coworkers and I delivered a petition with over 400 signatures to Amazon management,” said Ash Judd, an Amazon worker and member of the STL8 organizing committee. “Our demands are basic standards for any workplace: lower work rates, additional breaks, the implementation of OSHA’s safety recommendations, and a safety audit.”

Rather than meeting with workers to discuss their concerns, Judd said management chose to hide inside their offices.

“If Amazon is aiming to be Earth’s Best Employer, why won’t they meet with workers with ideas about how to make it so,” Judd asked. “Within minutes of our petition delivery, as if on cue, an ambulance brought one of our coworkers out of the warehouse on a stretcher. We will continue to fight for the safety of every Amazon worker, so ambulance visits are an anomaly at our workplace –– not the norm.”

At Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting May 24, warehouse worker Yvonda Clopton presented a shareholder resolution calling for an independent safety audit of Amazon’s warehouse working conditions. Clopton is a member of the organizing committee at STL8.

“Why am I speaking in support of this proposal? Because right now Amazon warehouses aren’t safe for workers like me,” said Clopton. “How do I know this? I’ve seen it firsthand. Amazon’s high work rates and heavy surveillance are driving workers’ injuries. I’ve worked at Amazon for five years. I’m capped out at my pay, and I feel dead when I leave work every day.

The resolution, filed by shareholder accountability group Tulipshare, echoed demands made by STL8 workers during the march on the boss. Workers mobilized in light of Amazon’s worker safety crisis: While the company made $33 billion in 2021, injury rates at the company remain twice as high as the industry average.

“In response to warehouse workers’ organization efforts and unionization votes, Jeff Bezos admitted Amazon needs ‘to do a better job’ for its employees. Ten Shareholders agree, which is why we are calling for an independent audit and report of the working conditions and treatment

On Friday, May 19, and Saturday, May 20, Amazon STL8 and other workers performed in a Bread & Roses theater production of the Workers’ Opera: Blue Light Special, which featured songs and stories about the dangerous conditions at the St. Peters facility and workers’ efforts to organize. (See related story on page 4.)


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