Amazon dispatcher forced driver to continue delivery during tornadoes or face termination

Kentucky national guard chief of staff on tornado recovery efforts

Kentucky national guard chief of staff Col. Joseph Henry Gardner on the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes in Kentucky.

An Amazon driver faced the threat of losing her job if she didn’t continue to deliver packages during the deadly tornadoes that struck several states last week. 

Screenshots shared with Bloomberg detailed an exchange between the driver and dispatcher: The driver alerted dispatch that tornado alarms sounded and she asked to turn back "for my own personal safety." 

Even with the tornadoes touching down nearby, the dispatch said that management would take her decision to return with her packages undelivered as "refusing your route," which would end in termination. 

FILE PHOTO: Logos of Amazon and Amazon Prime are pictured on vehicles outside the Amazon Fulfilment Centre in Altrincham, near Manchester, Britain, November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine/File Photo  (Reuters / Reuters Photos)

"The sirens are just a warning," the dispatcher wrote. 

Amazon noted to FOX Business that the driver was employed a third-party delivery service partner, and it pledged to investigate the full details of the incident to "take any necessary action." 

AMAZON WAREHOUSE COLLAPSE: 6 FATALITIES AFTER DEADLY TORNADO RIPS THROUGH AREA

"This was a developing situation across a broad geographic area, and unfortunately the delivery service partner’s dispatcher didn’t follow the standard safety practice," Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told FOX Business in an email. "This dispatcher should have immediately directed the driver to seek shelter when the driver reported hearing tornado sirens."

"While this text exchange was going on, the local Amazon team was ensuring each delivery service partner had directed their drivers to shelter in place or seek shelter and advised them to stop delivering for the evening."

Kenny Sanford exits his mother-in-law’s apartment through a collapsed wall Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Mayfield, Ky. Tornadoes and severe weather caused catastrophic damage across several states Friday, killing multiple people overnight.  (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey / AP Newsroom)

Nantel stressed that "We’re glad the driver is safe and we’re using the learnings from this incident to improve our policies and guidance for delivery service partners and drivers. Under no circumstance should the dispatcher have threatened the driver’s employment, and we’re investigating the full details of this incident and will take any necessary action."

AMAZON TO REBUILD ILLINOIS WAREHOUSE AFTER DEADLY TORNADO

The texts did include a note to "shelter in place," but the drive had argued that staying where she was might prove a death sentence. 

"Having alarms going off next to me and nothing but locked building around me isn’t sheltering in place," the driver wrote. "That’s waiting to turn this van into my casket." 

Heavily damaged Amazon fulfillment center in Edwardsville, Illinois. It was struck by deadly tornadoes; at least six Amazon workers died in the storms.  (AP/Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)

PHILADELPHIA AMAZON WORKER CAUGHT ON CAMERA THREATENING TO SHOOT SOMEONE: ‘STOP TESTING ME’

At least six Amazon workers died in Illinois when a warehouse collapsed on Dec. 10 as the tornadoes moved through the region. 

In a pair of tweets later in the day, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said the company's leadership had been "closely monitoring the terrible situation in Edwardsville," and "are heartbroken over the loss of our team members."

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

He said their thoughts were with the families of the deceased.

Source: Read Full Article