California Senate Passes Bill Giving Amazon Warehouse Workers the Power to Fight Productivity Metrics

Amazon Employee, Warehouse
Ross D. Franklin/AP

The California Senate voted this week to regulate warehouse performance metrics, approving legislation that will require companies such as e-commerce giant Amazon to disclose productivity quotas at its warehouses. The bill would prohibit any quotas that prevent workers from taking state-mandated breaks or using the bathroom.

The Los Angeles Times reports that this week the California senate voted to regulate warehouse performance metrics, passing the first legislation in the United States that will require companies such as Amazon to reveal their productivity quotas. The bill, AB 701, faced opposition from many businesses but passed the Senate in a vote 26-11.

Alma Delia Garcia of New York Communities for Change speaks during a protest organized by New York Communities for Change and Make the Road New York in front of the Jeff Bezos’ Manhattan residence in New York on December 02, 2020. (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Jeff Bezos at Blue Origin press event ( Joe Raedle /Getty)

One of the main goals of the bill is to reduce the currently high injury rates at Amazon fulfillment centers across the state of California. Many of the injuries appear to be related to Amazon’s closely monitored productivity goals. The bill still has to face a final “concurrence” vote in Assembly, which is usually just a procedural step before the bill is passed to the office of California Governor Gavin Newsom for final approval.

Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), the author of the bill, commented: “Today’s vote is a step forward in our efforts to empower warehouse workers to have a voice in their workplace, even when their supervisor is an algorithm.”

The bill will require warehouse employers like Amazon to disclose productivity quotas for workers and would prohibit any quotas that prevent workers from taking state-mandated breaks or using the bathroom.

Sheheryar Kaoosji, executive director of the Warehouse Worker Resource Center, commented: “We gave up a good amount to get moderates to agree this was something we would all need. We think it’s a really good bill, but injury rates indicate that there’s a lot we need to do to protect workers. This is a good first step, but we won’t rest until warehouses are much, much safer.”

Read more at the Los Angeles Times here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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