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Exhausted Amazon Drivers Are Working 11-Hour Shifts For Less Than Minimum Wage (mirror.co.uk) 324

schwit1 quotes the Daily Mirror: Drivers are being asked to deliver up to 200 parcels a day for Amazon while earning less than the minimum wage, a Sunday Mirror investigation reveals today... Many routinely exceed the legal maximum shift of 11 hours and finish their days dead on their feet. Yet they have so little time for food or toilet stops they snatch hurried meals on the run and urinate into plastic bottles they keep in their vans. They say they often break speed limits to meet targets that take no account of delays such as ice, traffic jams or road closures.

Many claim they are employed in a way that means they have no rights to holiday or sickness pay. And some say they take home as little as £160 for a five-day week amid conditions described by one lawyer as "almost Dickensian"... The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency has vowed to investigate after drivers contacted them to complain about conditions.

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Exhausted Amazon Drivers Are Working 11-Hour Shifts For Less Than Minimum Wage

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  • Something you will never hear an American ask themselves.

    Generally speaking, when you are buying so much "shit" for so much cheaper than the rest of the world, there is a good chance that this is only possible because a lot of people down the line are being fucked.
    But hey... cheap tv for you so who give a fuck, am i right?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I think that’s probably true for quite a few Americans; but by no means all of them. However if stereotyping makes you fell better, who am I to judge?

      • Not to mention... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The reason americans have become so complacent about getting shit cheap even if somebody else is getting fucked is because usually said people have been/still are being fucked themselves, and without a better company that is ACTUALLY AND VERIFIABLY BETTER, paying more just means being a bigger sucker and not necessarily helping improve the status quo.

        America continues sliding further down the shitter because there *IS NO TRANSPARENCY* making the sort of informed decisions that would allow capitalism to work

    • by MikeDataLink ( 536925 ) <mike.murraynet@net> on Sunday December 10, 2017 @03:38PM (#55711999) Homepage Journal

      Except this article is talking about Amazon in the UK, not the USA. Good job RTFAing...

      • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

        Amazon is also subsidized in the USA [slashdot.org].

        And then we wonder why bookstores keep shutting down. We are not a bright people.

      • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

        Could this be the reason why Amazon's Australian launch day prices were higher than anticipated?

        We have strict rules about minimum wages, shift length, etc. Perhaps Amazon can't discount prices so steeply because they have to employ more workers and pay them a minimum hourly rate?

      • Except this article is talking about Amazon in the UK, not the USA. Good job RTFAing...

        ... with American investors at Wall Street demanding 15% returns every quarter forever and ever and ever with no end in sight or the CEO is fired. I am sure it is not just consumers who are demanding cheaper and cheaper costs right?

        Also Walmart started this not the consumer. Walmart beat the giant Kmart and Woolsworth by forcing suppliers to cust costs so so low. It got the people into the stores and created a culture of budget prices and races to get into Walmart last decade by making it the cheapest.

        The c

    • If there were common options that were local but slightly more expensive, then I would ask why it is so cheap. On the other hand, why should I go out of my way to spend more?
    • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Sunday December 10, 2017 @03:58PM (#55712109)
      Of course this has nothing to do with any actual merchandise (in the US, OR in the UK, which is what the article is about). Which you know, but are pretending you don't.

      This is about last-mile delivery service, apparently a good deal of which is being done by contractors who sign up to complete the work at a fixed price without having the foresight to contemplate the nature of the seasonal traffic for a few weeks in December.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        All they need to do is not eat or pay rent for a couple of weeks and the problem is solved, right?

        Actually it's like this all year round. Has been for years. They are just bringing it up again because of the Christmas rush.

    • I don't have to ask (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Sunday December 10, 2017 @04:00PM (#55712117)
      I know. But what do you propose I do about it? We couldn't even keep Trump out of the Whitehouse. His tax plan is going to f'n kill me (kid in college and I'm in a state with SALT). I'm getting the shit kicked out of me. So are a lot of working class Americans. And all I hear from anyone else ever is: "Why don't you go back to school and update your skills?". Like that's so damn easy.

      America abandoned it's working class. Do you really think they care about the rest of the world that abandoned them?
      • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Sunday December 10, 2017 @04:14PM (#55712205) Homepage

        Liberal whites wanted to be rid of the culturally conservative, economically liberal, working-class white voters whom Democrats had courted in the previous decade. Upper-middle-class whites were embarrassed by these people. After all these centuries of white privilege, they never managed to get into a good schoolâ"or even a state collegeâ"and now they were making demands about trade and immigration.

        One of the themes that emerges from Shattered (a chronicle of the Clinton campaign) is that the Clinton operation didnâ(TM)t want to make a strong play for working-class white voters in swing states. The Clintonites thought these voters were disposable. That's you.

        • she took them for granted. Given Trump's very highly publicized flaws (p****ygate, his rambling speeches, his decades of poor business decisions) she assumed nobody in their right mind would vote for him. Hence the 'Deplorables' line. What she failed to account for is that people _want_ economic populism. They _want_ the government to take action to better their lives. Trump promised all that (even as he ran with a party who's central plank is laissez faire capitalism).

          And no, that is not me. I'm a Demo
          • by Altrag ( 195300 ) on Sunday December 10, 2017 @10:26PM (#55713597)

            a party who's central plank is laissez faire capitalism

            Sadly, its worse than that. They want the government out of the picture as long as profits are rolling in, but as soon as shit goes south they're quite happy to beg for giant bailouts on the back of the taxpayer rather than simply letting failed companies fail as should happen in a laissez faire system.

            If we look at ISPs (with all the recent flutter over net neutrality..) Their main argument against NN is that regulations are bad competition will fix it. Yet those same ISPs are continually [arstechnica.com] trying to [consumerist.com] block competition [vice.com], frequently by lobbying for you guessed it .. regulations .. that impede if not outright block new competitors.

        • One of the themes that emerges from Shattered (a chronicle of the Clinton campaign) is that the Clinton operation didnâ(TM)t want to make a strong play for working-class white voters in swing states. The Clintonites thought these voters were disposable. That's you.

          Then he should be grateful that the Republicans won and now how majority of the Legislative branch and veto power of the Presidency that is about to destroy him by eliminating SALT deductions? How would he be worse off with the Democrats in power?

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          "culturally conservative, economically liberal"

          What does that mean? Because it sounds like it means:

          Someone who thinks homosexual marriage should be illegal, transvestites must use their genetic-gender-determined restroom, civilian gun ownership should be legal but not abortion.....but.....the wealthy should be heavily taxed and the money spent on free providence for the unwealthy (and especially the jobless), including a luxury budget.

          That sounds like a strange combination. Are there a lot of people like

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@w[ ]d3.net ['orl' in gap]> on Sunday December 10, 2017 @10:43PM (#55713627) Homepage Journal

          Trumpists still don't seem to have realised that they were fucked over, even as the tax plans hit and all pretence falls away.

          Clinton lost because she became part of the false narrative. "You are under attack by liberals, immigrants, the political elite. I'll drain the swamp, build a big wall. Simple solutions to complex problems. I'll lead your revolution against this crook!"

          And you got Trump, who doesn't give a shit about you now he has your vote. The plan is to screw you hard, blame someone else and peddle the same lies next election.

          • by Rolgar ( 556636 )

            It depends on your situation.

            When I did my taxes a couple of years ago (making 54k), I received a refund (after no withholding) of around 3500-4000 due to child tax credits. Just found a calculator, and put in the same income and other numbers and found one says I would be due a refund of about 4500 on one calculator, and another that says I may be due 6800. Either way, indications are that we'll be better off.

            The majority of Americans don't make the sort of money that will result in itemizing taxes, and so

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by kevin805 ( 84623 )

        Oh, why do I do this to myself? I noticed £160 in the blurb and my first thought was "I wonder how much of the comment section is blaming this on Trump?". I should have just ignored the thread.

        As to the tax bill, if I may be so direct, you're whining about the working class, and you are in college. If you are in college and are not studying a marketable skill and you don't have a rich family to support you, you are making poor life choices. You don't mention working. Did you pay anything in taxes last

        • Trump is a symptom (Score:2, Insightful)

          by rsilvergun ( 571051 )
          not the cause. The cause is 40 years of stagnant wages as all the gains from decades of increased productivity [forbes.com] go to the top 1%.

          The working class actually tried to organize. Remember Occupy WallStreet? It was shut down by a coordinated effort of the FBI and local police using legal tools put in place by the Patriot Act that everybody pinkie swore would never be used against American Citizens.

          What gets my goat is the same folks who keep putting these jokers in power yell the loudest about government
    • by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Sunday December 10, 2017 @04:00PM (#55712121)

      I'm the wierd American who prefers quality over cost. I refuse to deal with Black Friday bullshit and just stay away from it.

      I'll happily pay MORE for an item if the quality warrants it.

    • Except when you look at some industries/rackets, you wonder why is this so expensive. And if you look, it's completely crooked. For example caskets, which somehow have a 500% markup [howstuffworks.com] -- charged the families of the recently deceased too.

      So yeah, I agree with you -- some things are cheap because someone along the line isn't getting a fair deal. Other things are expensive because some rich asshole along the way is lining his pockets and paying off the right folks.

    • > a lot of people down the line are being fucked

      Two things
      1. so true
      2. pretty soon there will be a lot fewer people down the line, with no abatement in output or production

      The effects are hard to predict. Prices probably will drop. Not sure what people will do for an income. Possibly people will seek higher goals such as space exploration, if Star Wars puts the message inspirationally enough across.

      For a long time the third world has been exploited. The advent of machines and more streamlined business pr

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday December 10, 2017 @04:39PM (#55712313) Homepage

      Something you will never hear any consumer ask themselves. Well, apart from wondering if it's a "Rollex" they're buying. The whole idea of capitalism is that money should go to the business that's most efficient, how can you tell if they're just brilliant at process automation and reducing overhead or exploiting the employees? And it's usually not their employees, it's a conglomerate of vendors, sub-contractors, partners, shipping/distribution/sales channels and so on that's five steps removed from the label on the box.

      I'll admit that here I expect other regulatory bodies to step in and make sure what's happening is done legally, like those who oversee commercial transportation and work/rest hours, regulations on wages and overtime pay and so on. The general public is not supposed to have that level of internal detail to inspect it themselves, since it'd be a treasure trove of competition-sensitive information. All you'd get are haphazard reactions to real or manufactured scandals leaking to the press.

      True, in a few limited areas like child labor, animal testing of products, trees from the rain forest and the use of certain chemicals pressure from the top has actually made an impact. But on basic working conditions like wages and such I don't think that'll ever be effective. It's either the government stepping in through law or the workers uniting through unions. To expect consumers to solve that problem for them I think is foolish. I'm not always going to go with the lowest bidder, but I'm going with the best offer for me.

    • True...which is why bringing manufacturing back to the US on a massive scale is bound to flop. "Shit" will be far more expensive and not competitive. I don't think wages are the core issue here, it is the insane amount of subsidies shipping companies collect. As soon as shipping crates of junk from China to the US costs the manufacturers what it should the entire constellation will change drastically.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 )
      This is actually about Amazon UK, not USA.
    • You are even less likely to hear an American ask that in Britian where the subjects of this article live.
    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      So you want to pay more for a product for what reason exactly? You think that if things were more expensive that people elsewhere would be treated better? Like all those "Fair Farming" coffee shops etc, for some reason, the plight of coffee growers hasn't changed much since the 80's except that half of them are now farming coca plants and poppies.

      Here's a fact: people will try to maximize their profits at any point in the chain. If you want to pay more for a TV, that's fine, someone will charge you more, bu

  • almost Dickensian (Score:5, Informative)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Sunday December 10, 2017 @03:44PM (#55712025)

    Noting that Charles Dickens' works were often so long because he usually got paid by the word. (My wife was an English teacher.)

  • Bad job?
    Quit.
    Can't find another job?
    Protest.
    Protest doesn't work?
    Go to war.

    This is how things have always worked before, why shouldn't this work now?

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Sunday December 10, 2017 @04:03PM (#55712135)
    side stepping minimum wage laws. Thing is, I'm guessing 99% of /.ers aren't in a position to worry about this. What we _are_ in a position to worry about is how 40 years of stagnant wages mean it's harder and harder for us to make ends meet. So we'll turn a blind eye. Thing is this will come around to bite us eventually, but when you're barely hanging on eventually doesn't really matter. Me? I'm just trying to get my kid through college and to hell with everything else. And that about sums it up. The working class is too busy surviving to band together and make a positive change. It's almost as if somebody designed it that way...
    • Good comment.
    • side stepping minimum wage laws. Thing is, I'm guessing 99% of /.ers aren't in a position to worry about this. What we _are_ in a position to worry about is how 40 years of stagnant wages mean it's harder and harder for us to make ends meet. So we'll turn a blind eye. Thing is this will come around to bite us eventually, but when you're barely hanging on eventually doesn't really matter. Me? I'm just trying to get my kid through college and to hell with everything else. And that about sums it up. The working class is too busy surviving to band together and make a positive change. It's almost as if somebody designed it that way...

      Yeah, all the gig economy means is the guy at the bottom is guaranteed to get screwed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by guruevi ( 827432 )

      My question is: if these kind of stories weren't on the Internet, would it be any different than 20-30 years ago?

      When I was young, I worked as a job student (18yo) which comes with all sorts of regulations, I still regularly worked 14h shifts until 4:00am, I was payed my hourly wages and my boss gave me an extra $50 under the table every week and I was more than happy. IF I had twitter back then, everyone would be outraged but I know everyone was doing it back then too. My boss was making ~$1M/year with his

      • See here. [wikimedia.org]. The difference is what you were doing was always recognized as illegal but the law was not being enforced. What Uber's doing is generally being recognized as legal.

        And you should have been outraged. You were being exploited. Just because there is a time in your life when you were no longer being exploited doesn't mean you weren't. I see this periodically, where people wonder why we need all these regulations, laws and rules when the problems they're supposed to solve are gone. What this usual
      • by Altrag ( 195300 )

        That works when you're young. And basically never again. That extra $50 goes a lot further for a single guy in his late teens (especially if you're still living at home) than it does for a mid-40s guy having to support a wife and 2 or 3 teenagers of his own.

        Young people are also more resilient when dealing with excessive strain (whether physical or mental.) By the time you're in your late 30s or 40s, those 14 hour workdays aren't just a strain on your family life but for most people, their bodies just ar

  • driverless cars actually become a thing, this will become a non-issue.

    It will go from minimum-wage to no wage.

    Though I suppose they'll still need someone to actually move package from delivery vehicle to home.

    Unless they're gonna install a vehicle mounted trebuchet.

    • by crow ( 16139 )

      Amazon has a special PDF that you print out and set where you want to have your packages delivered, then send them a photo of it. The robot in the delivery vehicle will place the package exactly where the paper was in the photo. It must be within 3 feet of your driveway, but they're working on expanding that for drone-deliverable packages. Soon light-weight packages will be deliverable to your back porch or even a balcony.

      [This post brought to you by the years 2019 and 2022. You get the idea--there are

  • Surely not (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JustNiz ( 692889 )

    But Bezos is a democrat... you know... that party that is all about the people.

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

      But Bezos is a democrat... you know... that party that is all about the people.

      Sure .. and he personally signed off on the working conditions of these drivers, all the while rubbing his hands while gleefully cackling about world domination, yet cursing Musk for already having the rockets to do it.

  • for much of my adult life, I have no sympathy. I'm working several hours more than than that seven days a week. Most of my friends in tech are too.

    • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Sunday December 10, 2017 @04:34PM (#55712285) Homepage Journal

      Which illustrates why "solidarity" was a principle of the labor movement, back when there was one in this country. It was also the name of the labor union in Poland that broke the power of the Communist Party.

      That is how do you deal with the fact you're too politically insignificant and an indivdidual to do anything about being screwed. Get together with enough other insignificant people that you're not insignificant. It's mind boggling to me that people react with stories of people being treated like shit by claiming they get treated even shittier, as if that were something to be proud of.

    • And you have "slow internet" too, right? Such BS.
  • Sacrifices have to be made in order to pay for the next royal wedding. And then in a couple of years the next royal divorce.
  • ... after the holidays.

    The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency has vowed to investigate after drivers contacted them to complain about conditions.

  • What is the underlying reason for this happening?
    Or - is it required to obtain certain goals and what would they be?

    Who benefits from it and why are other's paying with their health and well-being?

    Reminds me of certain animal species where dominant males kill offspring fathered by other males....

    Maybe there is or has been an advantage in evolution for that, but what is the advantage now.

    Nothing exists in human behavior without advantage, being it real or imaginary fantasy - i. e. mindfuck.

  • just wait for a bad crash with maybe some deaths and what will take a few $1M pay outs may hurt amazons bank account

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