California Bill Aims to Track Working Conditions At Amazon Warehouses

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An Amazon.com Inc. delivery driver scans bags of groceries while loading a vehicle outside of a distribution facility on February 2, 2021 in Redondo Beach, Calif. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

Among the various bills sitting on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk is AB 701, which would require companies that operate warehouses in California to disclose productivity quotas and tracking information to employees and government agencies. The bill takes aim at Amazon Inc., a global retailer that employs more than 150,000 workers and maintains more than 60 warehouses in California. Workers nationwide have complained about grueling conditions at the company’s distribution centers, which demand repetitive tasks and long hours that can lead to injury. We’ll talk about the legislation and efforts to ensure worker safety in Amazon warehouses.

Guests:

Sebastian Herrera, tech reporter with a focus on Amazon Inc., Wall Street Journal

Sheheryar Kaoosji, executive director, Warehouse Workers Resource Center, a nonprofit focused on improving working conditions in the warehouse industry in Southern California.

Alina Selyukh, business correspondent, NPR

Ellen Reese, sociology professor and Chair of Labor Studies, University of California, Riverside, co-edited, "The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy" that was released in 2020

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