Dems Demand Amazon Comply With Congressional Investigation on Labor Practices

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Several Democratic lawmakers are furious Amazon has not handed over documents it sought in March.

In a letter Thursday, several House Democrats on the Committee on Oversight and Reform demanded Amazon hand over documents and information related to labor practices following six employee deaths during a December 2021 tornado in Edwardsville, Illinois.

The letter, authored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., the Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and reps. Cori Bush, D-Mo., and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, is actually a follow-up to a March 31 request for documents that lawmakers say the company has not sufficiently addressed.

“Amazon’s failure to provide key documents has obstructed the Committee’s investigation,” the June 2 letter states.  “As an additional accommodation, the Committee will grant an extension until June 8, 2022, for Amazon to complete its document production. If Amazon fails to do so, the Committee will have no choice but to consider alternative measures to obtain full compliance.”

The letter cites allegations that Amazon employees and contractors “were threatened by supervisors with termination or other adverse employment consequences if they left work to seek adequate shelter and safety” as tornadoes approached southern Illinois December 10 and 11, 2021. The lawmakers cite previous allegations from Amazon workers dating back to 2017 during flooding that occurred during Hurricane Irma. Lawmakers said Amazon has thus far “produced a limited set of documents” and has not fully addressed the committee’s requests.

“Nearly seven weeks have passed since the April 2022 deadline, yet Amazon still has not fully produced the key categories of documents identified by Committee staff, let alone the full set of materials the Committee requested in March,” the lawmakers write. “Amazon has refused to produce any documents related to its own internal investigations and reviews of the Edwardsville incident, which are central to the Committee’s inquiry. Over the course of nearly seven weeks, Amazon produced an incomplete set of policies, procedures, and communications, despite claiming it was conducting a thorough investigation into the Edwardsville events and cooperating with an inquiry by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.”