Sweatshop Conditions at Amazon.com’s Allentown Shipping Facility

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Amazon.com AllentownWhen Amazon.com came to town, people were excited at the prospect of good, steady jobs. But not only does the retail giant hire many temporary workers, their warehouse forces people to work in unsafe conditions. Want to complain, take a break, or go to the hospital? You’re fired.

The next time Amazon.com says they shouldn’t pay sales tax, I want you to think of this:

The 34-year-old Allentown resident, who has worked in warehouses for more than 10 years, said he quit in July because he was frustrated with the heat and demands that he work mandatory overtime. Working conditions at the warehouse got worse earlier this year, especially during summer heat waves when heat in the warehouse soared above 100 degrees, he said.

He got light-headed, he said, and his legs cramped, symptoms he never experienced in previous warehouse jobs. One hot day, Goris said, he saw a co-worker pass out at the water fountain. On other hot days, he saw paramedics bring people out of the warehouse in wheelchairs and on stretchers…

An emergency room doctor in June called federal regulators to report an “unsafe environment” after he treated several Amazon warehouse workers for heat-related problems. The doctor’s report was echoed by warehouse workers who also complained to regulators, including a security guard who reported seeing pregnant employees suffering in the heat.

In a better economy, not as many people would line up for jobs that pay $11 or $12 an hour moving inventory through a hot warehouse. But with job openings scarce, Amazon and Integrity Staffing Solutions, the temporary employment firm that is hiring workers for Amazon, have found eager applicants in the swollen ranks of the unemployed.

About Greg

I founded Keystone Politics in 2004. Now I make stuff on the Internet for a living.

This entry was posted in Labor and Unions, Lehigh Valley.

7 Responses to Sweatshop Conditions at Amazon.com’s Allentown Shipping Facility

  1. Pingback: Sweatshop conditions at Amazon.com’s Allentown shipping facility | TRANSjobs.net

  2. Horrible. I gave up Hershey products, and I guess I can survive without Amazon.

  3. Jason says:

    Wow American workers complaining about a tough working environment…. no wonder companies are shipping jobs overseas. Wake up, our workforce needs to toughen up, or face the prospect of running out of 99 weeks of unemployment benefits and not being able to pay for rent.

    • Greg Palmer says:

      Wow. So we should participate in a race to the bottom? I want workers in our community to have a safe environment to work in. That's why we have laws protecting them.

  4. Guest says:

    That is how it starts, you decimate Unions and that is what you get. First of all it is amazing that a country that calls itself 1st world does not have a regulation to keep work place temperature in check. Even in China where everybody complains about sweat shops things have changed. It is now illegal to have working spaces so large that air conditioning becomes economically not viable. Unions manage safety compliance and workers can vote to pay to extend air conditioning season. If they don't comply and some body dies managers face death penalty. Only US Chinese subsidiary companies that can sometimes get away with it by running to the consulate. Just this week Lacke was complaining about safety rules being used for protectionism. In fact US subsidiaries might be not complying. If they don't air condition their working spaces here it would not be surprising if they complain of being forced to do it there. Wake up you are being taken for granted by companies. You are saving money for some obscure investor half a world away not to your children.

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