Amazon drivers say they are pushed to the limit as holiday deliveries reach a frenzy

Amazon drivers say they are pushed to the limit as holiday deliveries reach a frenzy, by Natalie Kitroeff.

Angel Echeverria …, 38, drives for LMS Transportation, a local courier in Inglewood [in LA] that delivers packages for Amazon. He starts each day with about 260 boxes, which he has to drop off at maybe 200 addresses across up to 80 miles in Southern California.

Factoring in the time needed to load and gas up his white van, which sometimes sports a magnetized Amazon logo on the back door, Echeverria has to hit one home every two minutes, on average. Failing to deliver even one package is not an option, he says.

“If you bring anything back, they basically want to cut your throat off,” says Echeverria, a single father of three who makes $15 an hour. …

In an echo of complaints by Uber drivers and other contract workers, delivery drivers in interviews with The Times and in court documents say Amazon is working them past a reasonable point, and often avoids paying them overtime or giving legally required meal breaks. …

Several drivers and industry officials said in interviews that Amazon keeps records on the performance of every one of its drivers, and pressures contractors to fire the ones who can’t keep up. …

Echeverria, the Los Angeles driver, reports to work at an Amazon facility in Commerce, where he loads a van up with boxes and then drives to a nearby gas station to fill his tank. Amazon gives him an Android phone with an app that scans packages and determines his route. He says it is also used to track how much of a dent he’s made in his delivery load that day.

He has learned not to stop for lunch because, he said, Amazon employees will call his dispatcher at any point in the day if they notice that he’s behind schedule.

Ouch. Very tough job, and not sustainable. Amazon and its lefty owner (who owns the Washington Post, one of the big three PC newspapers in the US) need to back off.