💪Amazon Flex Is Muscled By The FTC
The FTC will begin mailing repayment checks to the over 140,000 Amazon Flex drivers affected by wage theft between 2016 and 2019. The FTC's lawsuit against Amazon was settled for a total $61.7 million in February. $60 million of the settlement will be sent back to the drivers.
The average repayment is said to be $422, according to The Verge. The FTC has also prohibited Amazon from “misrepresenting any driver’s likely income or rate of pay, how much of their tips will be paid to them, as well as whether the amount paid by a customer is a tip".
In 2016, Amazon lowered its Flex drivers' pay without notifying the drivers, and claimed that the tips would supplement the difference. "In total, Amazon stole nearly one-third of drivers’ tips to pad its own bottom line,” said FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra.
Labor Rights Woes
Beyond this suit, Amazon has been actively fighting unionization efforts amongst its employees. In August, a National Labor Relations Board officer said Amazon's conduct interfered with a unionizing vote at their Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse. Meanwhile, an Amazon internal report found that its delivery drivers are urinating in bottles while on the clock due to scheduling pressures created by the company.
A settlement of about $60 million for a corporation worth over $1 trillion is, well, the cost of business. The way Amazon historically treats its employees, however, doesn't seem to be changing any time soon.