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Amazon cuts off three delivery companies publicly linked to deaths

The move is likely to affect some 2,000 delivery workers.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Amazon has cut ties with three delivery contractors that were recently implicated in multiple deaths by a joint BuzzFeed News and ProPublica investigation. According to state documents obtained by the two publications, those companies now plan to lay off more than 2,000 employees, and in two of three cases, stop delivering packages for the e-commerce giant. The investigation that BuzzFeed News and ProPublica completed in September found the three companies -- Inpax Shipping Solutions, Sheard-Loman Transport and Letter Ride LLC -- often employed drivers with little experience and put them in difficult working conditions.

The reports last month describes how Amazon micromanages the delivery process, where drivers were pressured to hit delivery quotas of up to 300 packages in a single shift. Despite those steep requirements (in an eight-hour workday, that translates to completing about 37 deliveries every hour) the arrangement puts liability for accidents on drivers or their direct employer -- not Amazon. BuzzFeed News and ProPublica found evidence that suggests Amazon contractors have been involved in at least 60 major road accidents, 10 of which have lead to deaths.

"We work with a variety of carrier partners to get packages to Amazon customers and we regularly evaluate our partnerships," said an Amazon spokesperson in a statement to both BuzzFeed News and ProPublica. "We have ended our relationship with these companies, and drivers are being supported with opportunities to deliver Amazon packages with other local Delivery Service Partners."

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