June 1, 2022
Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) held a press conference in front of Amazon’s TEB3 fulfillment center in Logan Township, New Jersey, where he stood with former Amazon warehouse workers and called on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to thoroughly investigate troubling reports of injury rates at the multi-billion-dollar company that far exceed the national industry average.
According to an analysis of injury data Amazon provided to OSHA, the overall injury rate at Amazon’s warehouses in New Jersey increased by 54% from 2020 to 2021, and Amazon workers’ serious injuries comprise 55% of all serious warehouse injuries in New Jersey.
“I’m asking OSHA to ensure the safety of working men and women in New Jersey and across the country,” said Congressman Norcross. “Behind these troubling statistics are working people who depend on their jobs to put food on the table and a roof over their head. Getting hurt on the job puts their health, livelihood, and families at risk. Amazon is a multi-billion-dollar company that claims to be ‘Earth’s Safest Place to Work.’ OSHA needs to investigate the workplace safety issues at Amazon to see what is driving these injury rates.”
“Every worker deserves to be safe on the job, and that is often not the case at Amazon warehouses,” said Nicole Rodriguez, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective. “As Amazon expands its footprint in New Jersey, its warehouses are becoming an increasingly dangerous place to work. It is now up to lawmakers at the state and national levels to keep workers safe by reining in dangerous productivity quotas, allowing workers to form health and safety committees, and creating stronger penalties for businesses that create dangerous work environments. We thank Congressman Norcross for his leadership in promoting worker safety and holding big corporations like Amazon accountable.”
The press conference followed a hearing in front of the House Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, where Congressman Norcross questioned the Assistant Secretary of Labor Douglas Parker about the department’s approach to investigating companies with injury rates similar to Amazon’s. Last week, he also led eight other members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation in a letter to Assistant Secretary Parker asking OSHA to investigate Amazon’s warehouse injury rates. Amazon is New Jersey’s second-largest employer.
At the press conference, speakers in addition to the congressman included: Nicole Rodriguez, the president of New Jersey Policy Perspective; Nayeli Sulca, a former Amazon warehouse worker from Elizabeth, NJ, who, along with her mother, were both injured while working at an Amazon warehouse but were denied health care coverage by the company; and Professor Carmen Martino, the co-director of the Rutgers Occupational Training and Education Consortium at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations.