Press Releases

Teamsters and Members of Congress Take on the Amazon Safety Crisis


Warehouse Worker Protection Act Would Rein in Dangerous Warehouse Quotas

Press Contact: Alex Moore Phone: (503) 886-9738 Email:

(WASHINGTON) — Teamsters leaders and Amazon workers joined with Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Tina Smith (D-MN) today to announce the introduction of legislation in the U.S. Senate that would hold Amazon accountable for its dangerous safety practices and abusive production quotas. The Warehouse Worker Protection Act is sponsored by Senator Markey, Senator Smith, and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA); a bipartisan House version of the bill will also be introduced in the coming weeks.

The Warehouse Worker Protection Act would safeguard workers from the most extreme quotas used by companies like Amazon. It would require large warehouse employers to disclose quotas to workers and prevent those quotas from interfering with workers’ health and safety, such as rest and bathroom breaks. Companies would no longer be able to discipline warehouse workers based solely on their work speed relative to other employees. It would also direct the Department of Labor to create new rules requiring safe warehouse design and ensuring injured workers have access to qualified outside doctors.

By forcing its workers to comply with arbitrary and unrealistic production quotas, Amazon has caused on-the-job injury rates to skyrocket and turned what should be middle-class careers into dangerous jobs with high turnover and low wages. Injury rates at Amazon facilities are 76 percent higher than the rest of the warehouse industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has repeatedly cited Amazon for dangerous warehouse practices in recent years.

Amazon workers are organizing with the Teamsters Union to demand industry standards that put workers’ lives and safety ahead of corporate profits. Today’s federal introduction follows years of action by the Teamsters to advance the Warehouse Worker Protection Act in state legislatures. It is now law in California, New York, Oregon, Washington, and Minnesota, and has been introduced in more than a dozen other states.

“Amazon and other abusive warehouse employers are squeezing their workers for every penny of profit, leaving behind tired and broken bodies,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “These corporate criminals are destroying good jobs in an industry that once supported a strong middle class. But one thing stands in their way—that’s the Teamsters Union, along with lawmakers who understand what’s at stake. It’s time to pass the Warehouse Worker Protection Act and put workers’ safety over corporate profits.”

“You don’t have to choose between running a profitable business and treating your workers with respect,” said Teamsters Warehouse Division Director Tom Erickson. “Production speeds at Teamsters-represented warehouses are safe, transparent, and negotiated in a contract. We need to pass the Warehouse Worker Protection Act so all warehouses in this country will be held to the same high standard.”

“I’ve suffered two serious injuries in my year working at Amazon and they could have been prevented if this common-sense law were in place,” said Keith Williams, an Amazon warehouse worker at SWF1 in Rock Tavern, New York. “Amazon uses quotas to push us to work faster than is safe and if you can’t keep up, you’re fired. My co-workers and I are organizing with the support of the Teamsters to secure the safe jobs and fair pay that all workers deserve.”

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.3 million hardworking people in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at