On Thursday, Motherboard reported that Amazon delivery drivers in Palmdale, California have gone on strike, a first for the company. The drivers, who united with the Teamsters in April and were recognized by Amazon “Delivery Service Partner” (DSP) Battle-Tested Strategies in May, demanding better pay and improved safety conditions. The 84 striking workers walked out on Thursday.
Motherboard‘s original article used the headline “Amazon Delivery Drivers Walk Out in First-Ever Driver Strike.” Afterward, an Amazon representative emailed the publication requesting that the headline be changed. By Motherboard‘s article:
“I am writing to ask if you would be open to updating the headline of the story you just posted,” the spokesperson wrote. “It says these drivers are ‘Amazon Drivers’ which is incorrect as they are employed by Battle-Tested Strategies. Would you please update the headline to read ‘providing drivers for Amazon’?”
But Amazon, which uses contractors for most of its fleet, exerts a great deal of control over these people, but does not technically employ. The company goes beyond the fact that they wear Amazon clothing and usually drive vans covered in Amazon’s artwork. The company has strict controls on how its drivers are allowed to look and post online. drivers accept AI surveillance being hired.
While these drivers wear Amazon uniforms, drive Amazon trucks, identify themselves as Amazon employees, are constantly monitored and monitored by Amazon managers, and receive their work orders from Amazon, Amazon has attempted to legally separate itself from these employees through a fake delivery service. Partner” (“DSP”) structure. Under this DSP structure, Amazon finds individuals—often with little to no experience running businesses—and claims to help these individuals “start” businesses, all the while selling them a false fantasy.
The complaint also points to Amazon providing branded trucks and uniforms, setting targets and conditions, unilaterally firing employees, and much more. According to the document, Battle-Tested Strategies also operates out of the same Amazon facility, DAX8, as three other “similarly captive” DSPs.
The document also details the conditions the drivers face, including driving without air conditioning in “inhuman heat” in the desert, where temperatures can reach 118 degrees Fahrenheit. In the vans, drivers talk to Motherboard described internal temperatures of over 130 degrees feeling “like walking into an oven”.
Such circumstances are not uncommon in the delivery world. In fact, last week the Teamsters represented more than 340,000 drivers scored a provisional deal to put air conditioners – air conditioners! — in all small package delivery vans owned by UPS.