Missing wages, grueling shifts, and bottles of urine

Several Amazon drivers who spoke with Business Insider described a physically demanding work environment in which, under strict time constraints, they felt pressured to drive at dangerously high speeds, blow stop signs, and even urinate in bottles on their trucks. Photo: Business Insider

Beth Gutelius, a senior research specialist in UIC’s Great Cities Institute, is quoted in a Business Insider article examining the work environment and demands experienced by Amazon delivery drivers. Gutelius, who has studied low-wage labor markets and global supply chains, says logistics industry workers are often negatively impacted when third-party courier companies compete to get become a subcontractor for larger corporations.

These trends are worse in an industry such as logistics, where cost is the only real competitive difference that sets apart one courier company that Amazon might choose to employ versus another, according to Beth Gutelius, a senior researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“You have everyone slightly under-bidding each other, so much so that it would be impossible for them to pay their workers even the minimum wage,” Gutelius said. “It creates a competitive market among subcontractors. Who ends up paying the price, then, is the workers.”

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