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At Amazon, contractors settle $ 8.2 million lawsuit to steal Seattle County drivers’ salaries

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Amazon և Seattle area contractors have agreed to settle a $ 8.2 million settlement with drivers who are suspected of stealing wages while delivering giant commercial packages.

The calculation is based on a 2017 lawsuit filed by two drivers, Guus Ortiz and Mark Fredley. The drivers were not directly employed by Amazon. They worked for broker Jungle Trux, one of hundreds of third-party logistics outlets with which Amazon has signed contracts to speed up customer service over the past decade.

During their trial, Ortiz and Fredley pleaded guilty to Amazon as much as Jungle Trux, forcing them to work without lunch or breaks to deliver 150 to 200 packages a day to Amazon customers. Drivers said they were never paid for missed breaks. Jungle Trux’s lawyer declined to comment.

According to the lawsuit, the drivers wore Amazon uniforms, followed the Amazon Rule Book for package delivery, and were supervised by Amazon employees.

“The lack of leisure breaks was part of Amazon’s delivery driver culture,” said Seattle driver Henry Abreu in court. “It simply came to our notice then. Amazon instructed us to ship a certain number of packages that we were required to ship within the time frame provided by Amazon և in accordance with Amazon instructions.

“If we had not completed the deadline,” he said, “Amazon would have given us negative reviews.” Abreu, who worked for the now-defunct Amazon contractor Delivery Force, said he urinated on a bottle he kept in the van during a shift because he did not have time to use the toilet.

Abreu այլ Other drivers working for similar Amazon contractors in Seattle said they were expected to show up at 4 a.m. but were not allowed to leave until 90 minutes later, according to lawsuits.

Katherine Pettigrew, Tacoma Driver, Amazon’s contractor Progistics Distribution, said in a statement in the lawsuit that Progistics pays its bills, but Amazon does other aspects of its work. The company trained him, checked his job application, informed him before the start of each shift.

At the same time, “Amazon has made no effort to arrange my route or schedule to ensure that I receive a paid vacation,” he said.

The information does not answer the questions immediately.

In a statement, Amazon said it did not tolerate breaches of labor law by its shipping contractors.

“Where we find recurring irregularities or inability to correct work irregularities, we terminate the contracts,” said Amazon spokeswoman Leah Xi.

Drivers received a $ 8.2 million notification last month, of which more than $ 5.5 million is to be paid to drivers as compensation for missing paychecks. The deal is due to be finalized by a King County High Court judge this spring.

Critics of Amazon argue that delivery service contracts, rather than hiring drivers, directly make it easier for the company to avoid liability for labor law violations, such as road accidents. Amazon has partnered with Jungle Trux, Progistics, and Delivery Force և five other shipping contractors that are part of Amazon’s plan to promote the delivery of shipping equipment, the primary purpose of which is to deliver packages from the company’s warehouses to customers. is: ,

Classic lawsuits against Amazon և its supply contractors continue in Texas, Ohio, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Florida, Illinois, and Maryland, according to Vice, who first reported the settlement to Seattle drivers.

At the same time, California this month fined Amazon մեկ, its other shipping contractors, nearly $ 6.5 million for 718 employee payroll violations. The state labor commissioner has found that drivers have to work on their food breaks to complete their journeys, often working earlier than scheduled shifts without extra pay, leading to “frequent minimum wage, overtime, food breaks”. “Rest period ման split shift violations.” »

Last month, Amazon agreed to pay $ 61.7 million in tips kept from Flex band drivers driving their private vehicles to Prime Now, Amazon Fresh և Whole Foods after an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.

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