Amazon’s rapid growth has turned its CEO, Jeff Bezos, into the wealthiest person in the world — but his company’s employees are reportedly working under endlessly brutal and dangerous conditions in Amazon’s warehouses.
Many of those cases were revealed in an investigative report by the Guardian that detailed numerous instances of workers claiming they were left to suffer after sustaining workplace injuries — leaving them unable to work, deprived of income, and forced to fight for months to receive benefits and medical care.
“It’s been a long 17 months,” one Amazon employee from Texas, Michelle Quinones, who suffered from carpal tunnel symptoms while working for the company, said. Amazon’s on-site first aid specialists dismissed that her right wrist required surgery to repair damage to her tendons, according to the Guardian.
“I ended up losing everything,” she said. “I lost my apartment. I had to move back home to New Jersey.”
Quinones said that Amazon’s leave of absence team told her she had to return to work in December 2017, shortly after an injury and against her doctor’s orders. She is currently still recovering, unable to work, and has since dropped out of college classes she was taking while working in Texas.
“We follow all Texas state workers’ compensation laws, and this case is no different,” an Amazon representative told the Guardian.
But a workers compensation lawyer in Texas, Kim Wyatt, who represented Quinones and other Amazon employees said she has seen similar cases come out of the company’s warehouse time and again.
“A lot of the cases we see with Amazon are repetitive injury cases,” Wyatt said. “Basically people are just a component to machine industry of mass production.”
It’s not only employees who have deemed the company a hazardous place to work, Amazon also made the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health’s “dirty dozen” list of most dangerous places to work in the United States in April 2018 due to the company’s pattern of unsafe working conditions, the Guardian reported.
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