Members of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, including its chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), are “demanding” that Amazon comply with a request in March for documents and information related to its “labor practices during severe weather events.” The letter sent Wednesday, June 1, 2022 to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy went on to say that “Amazon’s failure to provide key documents has obstructed the Committee’s investigation” and, “If Amazon fails to do so, the Committee will have no choice but to consider an alternative measure to obtain full compliance.” (See link to congressional letter below)
The letter also is signed by Committee members Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Cori Bush (D-MO) and is part of a series of communications with Amazon that started on Dec. 20, 2021, shortly after the Dec. 10 collapse of an Amazon warehouse in downstate Edwardsville, Illinois, that killed six people and injured dozens of others. The initial Dec. 20 letter from Congress was also sent to Jeffrey Bezos, then Executive Chair of Amazon, and among those signing that request for specific documents was Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-OK), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Bernie Sanders (IND-VT) along with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). (See link to Dec. 20, 2021 letter below.)
Jack Casciato, partner at Clifford Law Offices who filed a lawsuit in January on behalf of the family of a delivery driver killed in that warehouse collapse, reacted to this reported failure to cooperate on the part of the company:
“What is in those documents that Amazon refuses to turn over? Amazon should be fully transparent in what occurred so that families who were injured or killed have closure in this horrific event. It also is important so that this doesn’t occur again when bad weather strikes.”
Amazon has about 110 fulfillment centers throughout the United States. Congress on Dec. 20 referred to Amazon’s “5 million square feet of warehouse space across about a dozen facilities in the St. Louis metro area that are not suited for resisting tornadoes.” (Casciato was available to speak at a 10 a.m. on 6/3/2022 – see conference below.)
The congressional probe is looking into Amazon’s labor practices and the latest letter stated that the documents were due April 14 and, “Unfortunately, Amazon has failed to meaningfully comply with the Committee’s requests, obstructing the Committee’s investigation.” The letter sent earlier this week reiterated that it is seeking “communications among Amazon employees and managers at the Edwardsville facility; Amazon’s policies related to emergency preparedness; and the company’s internal reviews or investigations related to the tragedy” as well as other key documents.
Congressional Letter to Amazon dated June 1, 2022
Press Release sent out by House Committee on Oversight and Reform June 2, 2022
Letter sent Dec. 20, 2021, from Congress to Amazon:
For further information, please contact Clifford Law Offices’ Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909 (cell).
A press conference was held at 10 a.m. CT on Friday, June 3, 2022. View it here: