Amazon President and CEO Andy Jassy has said that the e-commerce giant wants to improve worker safety at its warehouses and fulfilment centres, as the company faces intense scrutiny over employees’ conditions.
In his first shareholder letter as the head of Amazon, Jassy, who took over as CEO from founder Jeff Bezos last year, said that the company is passionate about further improving safety at fulfillment networks, “with a focus on reducing strains, sprains, falls, and repetitive stress injuries”.
“Our injury rates are sometimes misunderstood. We have operations jobs that fit both the ‘warehousing’ and ‘courier and delivery’ categories,” Jassy said late on Thursday.
“In the last US public numbers, our recordable incident rates were a little higher than the average of our warehousing peers (6.4 vs. 5.5), and a little lower than the average of our courier and delivery peers (7.6 vs. 9.1),” he informed.
He said that the company is working to systematically solve “the top 100 employee experience pain points.” Amazon hired over 300,000 people in 2021, “many of whom were new to this sort of work and needed training”.
Jassy said that it takes rigorous analysis, thoughtful problem-solving, and a willingness to invent to get to where you want.
“We’ve been dissecting every process path to discern how we can further improve,” he added.
The letter discussed topics like supply chain disruption, labour shortages but did not touch the hot subject of labour organisation.
The e-commerce giant is currently in the middle of two disputed unionisation elections in the US — one in Bessemer, Alabama and the other in Staten Island, New York.
Amazon has 253 fulfillment centres, 110 sortation centres and 467 delivery stations in North America, with an additional 157 fulfillment centres, 58 sortation centres, and 588 delivery stations across the globe (by end of 2021).
“Our delivery network grew to more than 260,000 drivers worldwide, and our Amazon Air cargo fleet has more than 100 aircraft,” said Jassy, representing a capital investment of over $100 billion.