Executive Briefings

Workers at Pa. Amazon Warehouse Complain of Harsh Conditions

Elmer Goris spent a year working in an Amazon.com warehouse, where books, CDs and other products are packed and shipped to customers who order from the world's largest online retailer.

The 34-year-old said he quit in July because he was frustrated with the heat and demands that he work mandatory overtime. Working conditions at the warehouse near Allentown, Pa., got worse earlier this year, especially during summer heat waves when temperatures in the warehouse soared above 100 degrees, he said.

One hot day, Goris said, he saw a co-worker pass out. On other hot days, he saw paramedics bring people out of the warehouse in wheelchairs and on stretchers.

His complaints have not been unique. Over the past few months, interviews with 20 current and former warehouse workers provided a glimpse of what it's like to work at the facility near Allentown.

"The safety and welfare of our employees is our No. 1 priority at Amazon, and as the general manager, I take that responsibility seriously," Vickie Mortimer, general manager at the warehouse, said in a statement. "We go to great lengths to ensure a safe work environment, with activities that include free water, snacks, extra fans and cooled air during the summer."

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Elmer Goris spent a year working in an Amazon.com warehouse, where books, CDs and other products are packed and shipped to customers who order from the world's largest online retailer.

The 34-year-old said he quit in July because he was frustrated with the heat and demands that he work mandatory overtime. Working conditions at the warehouse near Allentown, Pa., got worse earlier this year, especially during summer heat waves when temperatures in the warehouse soared above 100 degrees, he said.

One hot day, Goris said, he saw a co-worker pass out. On other hot days, he saw paramedics bring people out of the warehouse in wheelchairs and on stretchers.

His complaints have not been unique. Over the past few months, interviews with 20 current and former warehouse workers provided a glimpse of what it's like to work at the facility near Allentown.

"The safety and welfare of our employees is our No. 1 priority at Amazon, and as the general manager, I take that responsibility seriously," Vickie Mortimer, general manager at the warehouse, said in a statement. "We go to great lengths to ensure a safe work environment, with activities that include free water, snacks, extra fans and cooled air during the summer."

Read Full Article