“Amazon needs to stop these union-busting techniques, needs to stop punishing workers for standing up for themselves,” said Senator Chris Murphy, D-CT, in a press conference on Capitol Hill in early January. The remarks come after Murphy and a group of Democratic and Republican Senators made public a letter, they sent to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy regarding reports that Amazon inflicts persistent mistreatment on its Delivery Service Partner (DSP) drivers.
In the letter, the lawmakers accuse Amazon of using a subcontracting arrangement to avoid “legal liability” regarding drivers’ pay and working conditions.
Twenty-five Democrats and three Republicans signed the letter, including Josh Hawley, R-MO; JD Vance, R-OH; and Roger Marshall, R-KS.
The letter comes after the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) organized a group of subcontracted Amazon drivers in California last year. The IBT says a majority of the workers signed union cards and asked Amazon to recognize the bargaining unit. Amazon declined to do so, claiming the delivery service partner, Battle-Tested Strategies, had “a history of failing to meet their obligations” and was on the verge of losing its contract with the retailer.
But driver Rajpal Singh says, “we deliver in an Amazon van, wearing an Amazon uniform, but when we petition Amazon, they ignore us.” The Senators want Amazon to explain why.
Senator Vance told the Huffington Post that he “doesn’t buy that drivers aren’t Amazon employees.”
The Senators have given Jassy until February 10 to respond to their inquiry.