New York Bill Targets Use of Amazon Productivity Fees – NBC New York (47)

New York lawmakers have approved a bill that targets the use of warehouse productivity quotas in the state, a move aimed at reducing the metrics employed by Amazon that has come under increased scrutiny in recent years.

Labor and safety advocates have long criticized the e-commerce giant’s use of productivity quotas that record how workers pack and put away packages. If workers are idle for a set amount of time, the company’s “time off task” tool can punish them for taking too many breaks, which critics have blamed on the company’s injury rates.

A report released in April by the Strategic Organizing Center, a coalition of four unions, found that Amazon employed 33% of all US warehouse workers in 2021, but was responsible for 49% of all warehouse injuries. the industry. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy pushed back on those findings, but acknowledged in his letter to shareholders that month that injury rates at the company’s warehouses “were a little higher than average” and said they would work to improve them.

The legislation, passed Friday, would require the retail giant and other companies to provide workers with information about the quotas they are assigned, how those quotas are developed and how the employer could use those things to discipline them. It would also prohibit employers from setting quotas that prevent workers from taking bathroom breaks or rest periods.

The legislation targets Gov. Kathy Hochul, who has not indicated her support but has criticized the Seattle-based company. Last month, she announced a state agency complaint against Amazon, alleging the company discriminated against pregnant and disabled workers by denying them reasonable accommodations and forcing them to take unpaid leave.

The legislation mimics a similar bill that was signed into law last year in California. State legislators in Washington and New Hampshire have also introduced similar bills.

In New York, Amazon workers in New York City’s Staten Island County are trying to get company recognition after their union victory in April. But Amazon has filed objections about the election with the National Labor Relations Board, seeking to overturn the labor victory and schedule a new election.

In Alabama, Warehouse workers in the town of Bessemer voted 993 to 875 against forming a union in March. The federal labor board said 416 contested votes could overturn that result. A hearing has not been scheduled to review the contested ballots.

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