Ramos, Constantinides lead protest against new Amazon distribution centers

Amazon fulfilment center.
Amazon fulfilment center.
Shutterstock
Amazon fulfilment center.

Ramos, Constantinides lead protest against new Amazon distribution centers

Lawmakers and labor advocates cite poor working conditions in protest against future Amazon distribution centers.
December 17, 2019

On the heels of damningreports about high rates of worker injuries at Amazon fulfillment centers across the country, state Sen. Jessica Ramos and New York City Councilman Costas Constantinides spoke out against poor working conditions alongside labor advocates on Monday at a protest against future distribution centers in Woodside and Maspeth. This protest follows a similar one last month at the company’s Staten Island warehouse, where workers and advocates called for reforms to working conditions at the facility.

Ramos and Constantinides, who both represent Queens, previously raised concerns with Amazon on a separate issue – the company’s now-canceled plans to build a new headquarters in Long Island City. On Monday, they took aim at the corporate behemoth again, based on a report that found injury rates spike during peak holiday season. The report was produced by the Athena Coalition, which includes advocacy groups like Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change, and the National Employment Law Project. “According to data collected by the Athena Coalition, Amazon workers are more likely to be injured at work than police officers, lumberjacks or coal miners, and it’s truly a shame that one of the world’s wealthiest corporations subjects its hardest-working laborers to such cruel workplace conditions,” Ramos said in a statement. 

Amazon has pushed back on findings that the company’s injury statistics are higher than the industry average, citing “a dramatic level of under-recording of safety incidents across the country.”

Ramos and Constantinides, who is currently running for Queens borough president, called on Amazon to reduce the speed of work and increase break times at its facilities. 

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Annie McDonough
Annie McDonough
is a tech and policy reporter at City & State.
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