Amazon ‘will not consider’ hiring delivery drivers despite million-dollar fine for hiring other companies

Amazon will not hire suppliers in Spain until a court forces it to do so. This was announced by the company’s director of labor relations at a press conference on Wednesday, where he revealed that Amazon Spain has appealed the 5.8 million fine imposed on it by the Catalan labor inspectorate, along with 17 subcontracts. Illegal transfer of distributors.

The Catalan inspectorate, with powers devolved from central government, believes the multinational company is breaking the law because it refuses to hire delivery drivers to use third-party companies as if they were its own. As an investigation by elDiario.es showed, the company promotes the creation of small delivery companies that have only one customer, Amazon itself, that use vans and uniforms with Amazon logos, whose delivery drivers follow routes designed by the firm. by a computer system provided by Amazon and evaluated by performance algorithms developed by the company.

Multinational does not believe this method conflicts with the governing law, which states that technology companies “that exercise business powers of organization, direction and control directly, indirectly or indirectly, through the algorithmic management of services or working conditions, through a digital platform” must hire these workers.

“We understand that such illegal transfer does not happen, and no, we are not considering changing the model. We believe that this is a model that works and that it is legal,” said the aforementioned head of Amazon, Alejandra Rodríguez del Castillo, in response to questions from this media. “When it happens, which I don’t know if it will happen, he will ask me again,” he answered, about whether Company B will manage the plan if the Catalan authorities ratify the sanctions. The company has approximately 7,000 subcontractors in this way that handle 50% of its packages. The rest of the distributions are entrusted to larger actors such as the post office.

Official sources of the Ministry of Labor, consulted by elDiario.es, explain that the “duty of secrecy” prevents the disclosure of whether the labor inspection at the national level is investigating the method used by Amazon to deliver millions of packages without hiring delivery drivers. “Any employment relationship that violates the law is investigated by the labor inspectorate,” they explain.

Last August was not the first sanction that the Generalitat applied to a large supplier company. Between 2019 and 2021, he did it 22 times for non-compliance with labor regulations, which amounted to 1.1 million euros in fines. A dozen of them were also on illegal assignment of workers. However, some focused on its Flex service, which encouraged citizens to deliver packages with their own cars, but which was shut down by Amazon Spain in 2019.

Amazon will not cut employees in Spain, despite global layoffs

In recent weeks, several leaks have suggested that Amazon has decided to join a wave of layoffs sweeping the tech sector and is considering cutting up to 10,000 jobs. The company does not confirm, but they do not deny either. It ratifies plans to expand the workforce in Spain: it closed 2021 with 18,000 workers, rising to 20,000 this 2022 and wants them to reach 25,000 in 2025.

“The situation at the global and macroeconomic level is uncertain for us and for all other companies,” admitted Victor Romia, director of Amazon’s logistics department. “I don’t have a crystal ball,” he continued, “but what I can tell you is that we are maintaining our growth plan in Spain.” According to the leak, the global cuts will affect product design departments rather than office staff. Of the 18,000 workers that Amazon had in Spain in 2021, 14,500 belonged to its logistics division.

report Business Insider It turned out that one of the reasons for this layoff was Alexa. Amazon’s famous voice assistant has a problem: It’s not a tool that the company can monetize, despite the huge investment involved in its development and maintenance. Customers use it to play music or control home automation, activities with little added value to the company.

According to the above media reports, the Alexa division had an operating loss of $3,000 million and is concentrating most of the layoffs.

Spaniards are unhappy with what they earn

The press conference, in which Rodríguez and Roma participated, served as a presentation of a study prepared by Amazon and IPSOS consulting company on labor trends in Spain. The results show that only a third of Spaniards are satisfied with what they earn. However, 93% say they are satisfied with their employment situation and “more than half rate it as notable or outstanding,” according to the study, which was drawn from 2,000 interviews with the working population aged 18 to 65.

The interviews showed that 40% of respondents work overtime repeatedly, and 71% consider it necessary to take more measures to facilitate reconciliation. 58% believe that their workplace conciliation policy is insufficient. When asked what is the biggest promoter of work in Spain, 39% point to the government and 33% to companies.

Those in charge of Amazon jumped at the opportunity to protect the working conditions of their workers. “In our logistics centers in Madrid and Barcelona, ​​the minimum entry salary is more than €1,750, which is 45% above the minimum wage,” Roma said, noting that added benefits include health insurance, access to a psychologist or training. plans. Conditions for subcontracted workers who are core to the company’s business, such as suppliers, are very different, as these workers explained to elDiario.es.

Source: El Diario

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