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Chicago-Area Amazon Warehouse Workers Stage a Walkout to Protest Dangerous Working Conditions

Amazon warehouse workers know as well as anyone that, when an employer expects workloads and deadlines to be met by too few workers, the employer creates an environment with a clear potential for injury. If you’ve been one of those warehouse workers and you’ve suffered an injury on the job, you should waste no time in reaching out to an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer to see what benefits may be available to you.

On April 7, 2021, a group of Amazon workers at one of the mega-corporation’s Chicago-area distribution centers staged a walkout to protest working conditions at the facility. According to the workers, the employer has failed to fully staff the center, which has led to more worker injuries.

A report by the Chicago Sun-Times indicated that the walkout included dozens of Amazon warehouse workers employed at the company’s facility in the Gage Park neighborhood. Also joining the demonstration was Chicago Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez, WTTW reported.

One sorter who helped lead the walkout stated that employer inaction was a key source of displeasure triggering the action. “We’re still waiting for [Amazon] to tell us, ‘OK, we’re working on it,’” WTTW reported.

A second Amazon worker at the Gage Park warehouse stated that another area of frustration was chronic understaffing. The worker told the Sun-Times that Amazon hasn’t addressed staffing shortages, creating a high-stress workplace atmosphere that has led to injuries.

The Dangers Understaffing Pose to Warehouse Workers

Understaffing is a dangerous problem for many workers, including those who work in distribution centers, “fulfillment centers,” or other warehouse environments. Understaffing means that the workers who are on the job must go even faster or else work longer hours to ensure that the work gets done and deadlines get met.

These longer and/or more arduous hours often mean workers who are working while exhausted. Research has shown that the more hours you work per week, the greater your odds of suffering a workplace injury. Additionally, other studies have shown that nearly all workers (97%) who work while fatigued experience a drop in their level of mental functioning.

An overworked warehouse worker is a worker who may feel compelled to work beyond their physical limits and perhaps also work at a faster rate than they can go safely. Injuries can be (and often are) sustained in all of that rushing and straining. Mental fatigue can mean a worker making an error of judgment that gets himself or one of his coworkers hurt. Additionally, the stress can lead to physical fatigue that is also dangerous. A physically fatigued worker may do her job physically incorrectly and trigger an injury. This can include things like incorrect lifting, standing, or turning methods while performing repetitive tasks.

If you’re someone who works at an Amazon distribution center here in Illinois and has gotten hurt on the job, make a point to talk to the experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our firm proudly represents Amazon workers from Cicero to Champaign, Schaumburg to Springfield, and points in-between, and is ready to get to work for you. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.

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