To ensure that same day and other deliveries arrive on time, Amazon used millions of subcontracted drivers in its Flex delivery plan launched in 2015. Drivers register through a smartphone app, which allows them to select shifts, coordinate deliveries and report problems. However, the reliance on technology does not stop there, as they are also subject to performance monitoring and triggered by algorithms with little human intervention.
However, the report states that the system often seems to fire workers for no reason. One worker said that after she was forced to stop deliveries due to tire nails, her ratings (ranging from great, great, fair, or risky) dropped. In the next few weeks, she successfully promoted her to Great, but her account was eventually terminated due to violation of Amazon’s terms of service. She disputed the dismissal, but the company will not reinstate her.
As long as there is a problem, there is no support. You are against the machine, so you don’t even try.
Another driver was unable to deliver the package to the apartment building because the apartment building was closed, the gate was locked, and residents did not answer the phone. In another building, the Amazon locker failed to open. His rating has also dropped. He spent six weeks trying to improve the rating, but was fired for falling below the required level.
If drivers feel that they have been terminated by mistake, many people also feel that they do not have much recourse. Drivers must pay $200 to dispute any termination, and many people say it is not worth it. 29-year-old Cope said: “As long as there is a problem, there is no support. You are against the machine, so you don’t even try.”
However, within Amazon, the plan is considered a success, a former engineer involved in the plan told Amazon. The numbers prove this. According to the report, about 4 million drivers worldwide have downloaded the app, including 2.9 million in the United States. In the past five months alone, more than 660,000 people in the United States have downloaded the app.
Amazon said that the driver’s claims about poor treatment and unfair dismissal are anecdotal and do not represent the experience of most Flex drivers. Spokesperson Kate Kudrna (Kate Kudrna) said: “We have invested a lot of money in technology and resources to let drivers understand their status and eligibility to continue delivery, and investigate all drivers’ appeals.” Bloomberg.
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