Amazon on Notice: Teamsters Local 25 Applauds Somerville City Council Resolution Aimed at Shipping Giant’s Safety Record and Treatment of Workers

Somerville City Council joins Boston City Council in urging that Amazon meet area standards for wages, benefits & safe working conditions prior to any expansion

At the January 28 Somerville City Council meeting, council members unanimously passed a resolution aimed at the questionable safety record and unacceptable poor treatment of workers by shipping giant Amazon. The Resolution for Fair and Full Employment Opportunities at Amazon was introduced by City Council President and Ward 1 Councilor Matthew McLaughlin in response to public safety and economic concerns during the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and approved by an 11-0 vote. The non-binding resolution urges that prior to any expansion into Somerville, Amazon must conform to area standards for wages, benefits and safe working conditions, and to confer with the Somerville community, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 25, neighborhood groups and other interested parties.

“Amazon is among the world’s richest corporations but refuses to meet the high standards we have for workers in Somerville,” said Teamsters Local 25 President Sean M. O’Brien. “Drivers are true heroes of the pandemic, putting themselves and their families at risk for all of us. Teamsters delivery drivers are highly-skilled, well-trained professionals who are paid well and have quality healthcare and retirement benefits. These proud drivers contribute to the fabric of this great City. Amazon prefers to pay low wages and provide no benefits to untrained independent contractors who are not subjected to proper criminal background checks. The Somerville City Council deserves the highest praise for making it clear to Amazon that any delivery work in this City is to be performed by safe, professional drivers who are full-time employees with benefits.”

“Somerville is a union town. It’s also a town that uses Amazon a lot,” said Somerville City Council President and Ward 1 Councilor Matthew McLaughlin. “We need to ensure that Amazon fits our community standards and appreciates our patronage not only with the products they deliver, but by ensuring the people who deliver those products are treated fairly.”

The Somerville City Council resolution makes clear that any plans by Amazon to expand delivery operations, warehouses and fulfillment centers must be done in a manner beneficial to the City and its residents while guaranteeing sustainable growth and helping to ensure that fair and equitable employment standards are maintained for all ecommerce delivery networks. Councilors are also calling on Amazon to present sufficient evidence that its operations meet or exceed current Community Standards established by existing delivery networks, including that all delivery drivers will be direct employees of Amazon and not independent contractors. The Boston City Council approved a similar resolution late last year, supported by Teamsters Local 25, that urges Amazon to improve worker treatment and safety conditions.

Teamsters Local 25 is the largest Teamsters union in New England with 12,000 members. For more information, please visit http://www.teamsterslocal25.com

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