business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times reports that a new national study, published Wednesday by the University of Illinois Chicago’s Center for Urban Economic Development, suggests that "more than two-thirds of Inc. U.S. warehouse workers surveyed by researchers reported that they took unpaid time off to recover from pain or exhaustion sustained on the job."  The study found that "69% of workers surveyed stayed home without pay to recover, including 34% who did so three or more times."

According to the Times, "The report, the broadest academic survey of Amazon workers to date, adds to the growing scrutiny of the company’s sprawling logistics operation. Amazon is the second-largest private-sector employer behind Walmart Inc., and employs about 29% of the country’s warehousing workers, the researchers estimate. That gives the company outsize influence over the industry’s working conditions and compensation.

"Critics say Amazon pushes employees to work too hard and too quickly, leading to avoidable injuries. Workplace safety regulators in Amazon’s home state of Washington allege a direct connection between employee monitoring and discipline and musculoskeletal disorders suffered by its workers. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, meanwhile, has cited Amazon for exposing workers to ergonomic risks at several facilities across the country.

"Amazon says the regulators’ allegations are inaccurate and is challenging them, including during weeks of hearings held recently on the Washington state citations. The company says its investments in worker safety, including a push to automate repetitive and arduous tasks, are helping reduce the injury rate."

KC's View:

Lots of smoke here, and Amazon continues to insist that there are no fires with which people should be concerned.

I'd accept the idea that things are not as bad as some people say, but some of the company's protestations defy logic and credibility.