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Amazon delivery drivers complain about bad work conditions (dailymail.co.uk)
162 points by nreece 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 101 comments



I'm a supervisor at UPS, so maybe I can offer an opinion (this is a throwaway account).

I'm not sure if there is anything analogous to the US Department Of Transportation in England, but we have to abide by pretty strict rules here in the USA regarding driving hours. A UPS driver cannot work over 14 hours on a shift, must have 10 hours between shifts, and cannot exceed 60 hours in a week without (IIRC) 38 consecutive hours before the next shift. That being said, we HIGHLY AVOID working drivers over 12 hours per shift, and try to take on a lot of extra help during the holiday peak season so that the work is distributed evenly.

From what I can tell from the article, these are probably inexperienced drivers who may be on their own in regards to organizing their delivery route, sorting packages on their vehicle, and learning their route. Because UPS has a centralized management system (as apposed to FedEx, for instance, which is contract based), we monitor every driver and can send other drivers to assist anyone who begins to struggle.

Its not unheard-of for UPS drivers to pee in bottles (and less often, poop in big plastic bags that are kept handy in the package cars). Its definitely not encouraged, but it happens, especially when you're on a rural route.

UPS drivers have it pretty good because of the collective bargaining that's available through the union. We're definitely going to have some rough days ahead of us for the next few weeks, but peak season is a big deal that we prepare for months in advance.


In the UK these type of delivery drivers will be driving vans weighing under 3.5t. The restrictions on driving times only apply to vehicles above this weight.


In the UK drivers of vehicals with a maximum weight over 3.5 tons will be covered by EU regulations.

Other drivers will be covered by the GB domestic regulations. There are maximum driving times listed in the domestic regulations.

The flowchart here tells us which rules apply:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/drivers-hours-goods-vehicles/int...

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/drivers-hours-goods-vehicles/2-g...

> In any working day the maximum amount of driving permitted is 10 hours. The daily driving limit applies to driving on and off the public road. Off-road driving for the purposes of agriculture, quarrying, forestry, building work or civil engineering counts as duty rather than driving time.


Thank you for your candid response.

Would you be able to answer how many packages the average driver delivers on a route and what happens if a package is stolen i.e who is liable?

Curious to see how often package theft occurs.

Thanks again!


I'm not op, but I'm a seasonal driver, and I've delivered about 200-250 packages a day on a suburban route so far. My understanding is that the number of stops you have is directly related to the density of your route. So routes with stops that are closer together have a lot more packages.

On my first day a package was stolen, and I got a stapled packet with all of the information that UPS knew about the package (when it was delivered, what location it was delivered to, where the truck was when it was marked delivered), etc. I have to go interview the person making the claim.

We aren't supposed to leave any packages that are of obvious high value, such as laptops, TV's, or any Apple product. Houses with a lot of claims will be flagged and required to always sign for packages.


Interesting. Thank you for your reply. Have you heard of Amazon Key( electronic lock so that owner's door can be opened for delivery driver. [https://www.amazon.com/b?&node=17285120011])

Do you have any thoughts on that such as why Amazon would do that and if UPS would do something similar?


> how many packages the average driver delivers on a route

Packages? This time of year, 300-600. Stop count: 250+. Depends on center (how many extra routes over peak to absorb volume?), local labor market, etc.

> what happens if a package is stolen i.e who is liable?

There are 3 ways packages get left at your doorstep: consignee release, shipper release, driver release. First is relatively rare, 2nd is common among retailers of lower value stuff. 3rd means the company is liable, so various strategies are used to mitigate the liability: don't leave high value packages (absolutely never if it's valuable enough to qualify for the chain-of-custody tracking), buildings with reported thefts get DRs prevented for a very long time, etc. Quite a bit of driver discretion is involved in judging whether to leave packages; things like leaving it hidden/under a doormat are encouraged. IIRC Apple has some special setup and will never get released without a signature.

Also, business stops (which are a lot of volume) never get released without a signature.

Piss bottles and lunch breaks: piss bottles are extremely common, and skipping lunches is very common since it's unpaid (at least here) and when you're scheduled for 10-12hrs it's nice to get out 30min earlier. Difference between the UPS and Amazon drivers, at least based on the article, is a huge amount of pay - top rate before O/T is $30/hr+.

/teamster


UPS I believe is self-insured (this if from many years ago a friend tried to get me to be a "seasonal helper" and I went to the orientation.) Meaning it comes out of the companies profits.

Basically UPS hires a lot of extra people to ride along with the drivers and deliver pacakges during the holiday season. The pay was decent for the work.


Not to detail this too much, but can you confirm a story my boss was told last week is possible? We've had the same stuff "out for delivery" for several days to a residential address. They told my boss "well, you're near the end of the route so if the driver doesn't get to you in his 12 hours it stays on the truck overnight" ... This seems daft. And repeats for days and days. I'm trying all my January stuff with FedEx but we like UPS because of the union.


A slight oversimplification, it'll either get pulled off the truck and take a spin around the center or be looked over by someone there, but yes that's totally possible. Getting residential ground delivered "on schedule" isn't much of a priority (ground delivery guarantees are suspended for peak), although obviously that situation isn't ideal, particularly if it's more than a couple days.

Basically what's happening is your local center can deliver X packages per day, with very hard limits imposed by DoT hour caps, and are dealing with X*N volume. If you need it faster, have it dropped at an access point (UPS Store) or have it held at the center.


Thanks! And also, ugh. The line between business and residential shipping has blurred enough that this distinction, though convenient for UPS, does not reflect the reality of how many small businesses like ours run. Bummer. But thank you for the advice on access points for critical shipments.


On reddit, "spagheddie" wrote:

I was once a FedEx delivery driver, so I don't know how it is for Amazon, but I would imagine it's similar? At FedEx we got paid per package delivered, which means the faster you deliver your packages, the more you are technically getting paid per hour. In addition to this, you'd get a daily bonus for delivering the packages fast. We could take our lunches whenever, nobody cared as long as the packages got delivered. However, very few people ever stopped to eat their lunch. Most people would eat and drive. If there was a bathroom on your route, that's cool, but otherwise you are peeing in a bottle because you aren't trying to waste time searching for a bathroom when you could potentially deliver 4 or 5 packages in that time. All of this holds especially true at this time of the year, when guys are getting ran 6 days a week, with 200+ packages per day, and with the sun going down an hour earlier (night time delivering slows you way the fuck down).

Well what happens when you deliver so slow that you're making less than minimum wage? I don't know about Amazon, but at FedEx if you were so slow that you made less than minimum wage with your per package deliveries, you were simply paid minimum wage for that day's work.

Anyways, there are a lot of shitty jobs to have during the Christmas season but, in my opinion, this is the worst one of them all. The pay isn't bad if you have your route down; but goddamn you can't even enjoy the damn holidays because you're always on "go" mode.

https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/7iv6s9/amazon_dr...


I've noticed this sort of thing a lot in the job market: performance or pay are directly tied to metrics resulting in employees being incentivized into odd behaviors (breaking the law, sabotaging coworkers, skipping breaks/lunch, stagtegically cancelling or avoiding work, etc). This type of management through metrics goes hand in hand with the gig economy and also temp agency/contract work.


And the people making those incentives know it! They can't always legally tell an employee to do bad/illegal things, but they sure know how to build a system where thats the only option.


Exactly, it's in the company's best interest to have people do as much as possible for as little as possible money. This is why we have worker rights, things like minimum wage and maximum working hours. As well as health coverage etc.

Or should anyway. But nope, money first, people second.


Thanks, Ctulhu, for looking out for the common man. :)

On-topic: Workers' rights have taken a backseat due to aggressive lobbying for several decades, not least in the US.

Even in countries with very strong socialist foundations unions are hollowed out to the point where entire fields like IT feel like they have no use for them. Sweden is a good example: IT professionals are sought after to the point where they currently (rightly) feel like they have no use for unions, but when they turn out to be the new factory workers they won't have an already established base to unionize on.

Maybe I'm silly to worry, but I feel like this is all a pretty big mistake.


Are you actually advocating for socialism on a site centered around VC-funded tech companies that absolutely couldn’t exist in a socialist country? Awesome.


VC-backed companies do exist in socialist countries (i’m from Denmark). maybe it’s all time Hacker News readers did start arguing for socialism: self-obsession exists now in more abundance than ever and capitalism is doing everything it can to broaden the cloak of its dreadful shadow


I guess my point is, the socialist movement in the USA seems to favor things like taxing income over 1MM USD at 90ish percent. At that point, what would possibly be the point of risking a 1MM investment to only make 10% if the company doubled in value?


Our system is already structured in a way to incentivize actually reinvesting and doing stuff with that money instead of adding it to one's personal hoard -- think that but enough to actually be effective


Socialism and unions aren't the same thing. You can have unions without socialism, and socialism without unions.


Maybe that's because the Swedish unions did not historically unionize as much in the M&P area.


it's in the company's best interest to have people do as much as possible for as little as possible money.

If you're in an industry where hiring costs are high (eg software) then it's often cheaper to keep staff happy than to recruit new ones. 'as little as possible money' is sometimes spending more now in order to save a larger sum of money you'd have to pay out on recruitment if someone left.

That said, I strongly suspect this is not the case for delivery drivers.


> but they sure know how to build a system where thats the only option.

That's also how research/PhD programs work. Sure, you aren't forced to work like a slave and sure, you don't need to endure slave wages... But your supervisors and advisors tell you that's what it takes to get that competitive advantage in a very competitive field, and if you want to get ahead in life you need to have what it takes and be a team player...


There should be laws against creating a metric-based system that clearly causes people to work for less than minimum wage and to violate standard employment conditions (e.g. required breaks.)

This type of gig is just a means to exploit poor people by one of the riches, most successful companies on the planet.


Also note that the better carriers that don’t do bullshit like this (FedEx Express, UPS) perform better and are very competitive.

I work at a place that has acquired ITIL religion for technology operations. Just like the minimum wage driver, it encourages bullshittery like this and wastes money to provide inferior service. Unfortunately, once you’ve found Jesus (aka metrics), the answer to all questions is more religion.


That is why taxi drivers are such bad drivers. They are incentivised to drive fast and run red lights.


Not to mention Wells Fargo...


Completely agree, but I would say that this is not a new gig econmy/temp contract thing but originates actually from the world of manufacturing. It's almost like a retro trend.


Manufacturing piecework has existed for hundreds of years, you're right, but there are some crucial differences.

If you're assembling widgets at home, your throughput - and hence your workload and earnings - will be about the same from day to day and from week to week. If you're sick you don't earn money - but you're not otherwise punished.

On the other hand if you're delivering for Amazon, your earnings vary with their sales, which you have no control over. And if you can't drive due to poor weather or sickness? Sometimes you owe your employer money!

I agree it's not new for companies to structure themselves to incentivises breaking the law and unsafe behaviour. What the gig economy adds is transferring business risks like poor sales, bad weather and sickness to hourly paid employees also.


which means the faster you deliver your packages, the more you are technically getting paid per hour. In addition to this, you'd get a daily bonus for delivering the packages fast.

Am I the only one here who thinks "that might actually be fun for a little bit" --- as in, not doing it as a full-time job, but as in "playing a game" once in a while? It sounds rather competitive.


When the employee has no other options it becomes a full time job.

I used to work GrubHub for a year. I even moved up to the catering delivery but it still sucked. Let me try to explain why.

When you tip with your credit card through grubhub, 99% of the time it goes to grubhub and it never reaches the driver. Grubhub guarantees a hourly wage, but to keep your tips that you have to earn more then your hourly rate. This means the driver won't receive any tips until he/she makes themselves free for grubhub. Pretty ingenious IMO, make the driver a contractor so you don't pay payroll tax, and the drivers basically work to make themselves free for you to hire.

I'll break it down for you how it works because I was confused for a long while about how it works (which is probably by design).

You work 8 hours for grubhub. For brevity, lets assume in your area grubhub pays $10 a hour, the mileage they pay you is 25 cents a mile (from restaurant to customer only, you don't get anything driving to restaurant) and the delivery fee is $2. You deliver 10 deliveries during that time, your (payable) mileage is 40 miles:

You worked 8 hours, so your hourly wage is $80. Now lets see how much in tips you need to make before you can start keeping your tips!

Delivery fees - $20 Mileage - $10

You would need to make $50 in tips to start actually getting your tips.

Now I'm getting a new pizza delivery job where the hourly rate is a couple bucks an hour lower, so my hourly rate in this example would be $8, so while I would only make $64 dollars from my hourly rate, I get to keep my delivery fees, mileage, and tips on top of that.

The Grubhub I worked for spreads the work around so that people earn the minimum hourly rate. Why wouldn't they? it lowers their labor costs to near zero.

It's not that I want the tips, I really do think tipping is a horrendous system and it is "my fault" for signing up to work for them (I was incredibly desperate for money). I just feel it is disingenuous to call it a tip when it should be called a "please pay my driver's hourly wage for me" fund. I know that is basically what a tip is, but when someone tips me very well I have this sick feeling in my stomach because they wanted it to go to me not grubhub. That is why I'm left grubhub.

If you have to use grubhub tip in cash, or better yet just don't tip. I don't care I am making the minimum hourly rate 99% of the time. If grubhub can't survive without stealing the credit card tips from their drivers it shouldn't be around.

Source: I'm currently involved in a class action lawsuit over GrubHub's labor violations.


In India, this gets worse. Lot of delivery guys use 2 wheelers and can often been seen carrying a huge bag full of packages on their bikes. Moreover many buildings don't have lifts so they end up carrying this load up 2 or 3 storeys. This is extremely back breaking work and add to that the pressure to deliver packages on time and navigating crazy Indian traffic on two wheelers with such heavy loads. On the other hand I am not sure what can be done.... People are just concerned about their convenience with no regards for rights of the delivery people. And given the level of unemployment it is unlikely that there will be protests from the drivers. While Indian e-commerce booms it will be on the backs of these guys.


Sobering, and almost physically painful to read. Probably the only realistic solution is the booming economy in India. Eventually, one hopes, there will be better accommodations for everyone, and the drivers will benefit along with everyone else. I assume unionization would not work due to the huge supply of alternate employees?


Yeah... There are too many desperate and unemployed people for unionization to make an impact. You can just get rid of the union employees. Given the poor educational investments lot of people are simply not equipped to exploit the opportunities in booming economy. This basically results in larger inequality since for high paying jobs there is lot of competition due to talent crunch driving wages up. At the same time for menial jobs there is too much labor leading to downward pressure on wages. Combine the two and you have ballooning inequality. My fear is that India might end up there.


Bad for employees but when I have been there in the past I was impressed with how quickly things would be delivered from Amazon in Mumbai.


It's such a complex situation. Amazon has contracts with small companies who provide trucks and humans. Amazon provides the work, the groups of packages, the routes, the app the drivers need to use to deliver.

The companies compete with each other for more 'routes' each day. They offer to take on more work, to do more. And then they hire anyone they can to fulfill those routes. The drivers themselves are on contracts with the small companies that can end at any time. Not making your rate? Up to the small company to decide if you have a contract tomorrow.

The contracts themselves presume the drivers will deliver a route in a specific number of hours for a fixed rate of pay. But newbies work at a much slower rate. And during the holiday season, they need a lot of extra labor- a lot of newbies.

Who is to blame? Amazon? The companies? The drivers? Capitalism gone mad? Take your pick.


>Who is to blame? Amazon? The companies? The drivers? Capitalism gone mad?

All of the above? But mostly Amazon. We need to stop letting companies get away with poor practices by blaming it on a contractor. Companies should be accountable for the behaviour of their contractors.

If Amazon wants to structure their delivery business around contractors, they have a responsibility to require the contractors provide good working conditions.


While I have some sympathy for that position....

"Hello, can you have someone deliver this parcel for me. I'll pay you $5"

You're saying that if Amazon is asking that, they are responsible for the life of the person delivering it.

If I am asking Amazon that, therefore, does that make me responsible?


> You're saying that if Amazon is asking that, they are responsible for the life of the person delivering it.

> If I am asking Amazon that, therefore, does that make me responsible?

yes. definitely. not entirely, but for sure to some small degree.


One suggestion is to include the actual price of delivery instead of "free delivery" (or discounted) into the displayed price.

Swift delivery is changing our expectations. If I knew it would take a week to come I would plan ahead, instead I can buy on impulse. Of course the real costs are being externalised, on the poor drivers but also on congested roads and pollution.

One of the consequences: https://www.londonair.org.uk/london/asp/annualmaps.asp


The cutoff in my opinion is that if you know or reasonably should know about the behavior of the contractor then you are responsible. If Amazon is not aware of this behavior, then it is clearly willful ignorance.


yes, of course. you're responsible on a smaller scale than amazon is, but ultimately you are responsible for the behaviour of the companies you patronize. and the behaviour of their contractors.

and that's not limited to whether you know about their poor behaviour or not. If you see something that's too good to be true, like "free same-day delivery", it's up to you to question whether that's really something you want to support.


I agree, this is part of the "gig" economy gone bad. I think the solution is quite simple though. All contracts must also include a minimum wage (not saying this is the US minimum wage currently) per hour. This sets a floor and forces more of the cost back up the chain. It fixes the problem of someone forcing minimally bid contracts to people who are desperate for any kind of work. We have great algorithms and the computing to calculate "fair" amounts of time for delivery including traffic data and time of day that can also be extremely optimized for efficiency. Then the contract is for X hours at Y wage plus (maybe?) a bonus per delivery.

We complain about sweatshops making sneakers in abusive conditions but say cynical things like "... people don't have to take these jobs ..." when it comes to having parcels delivered right to our door so we don't even have to leave the house. I think it only fair we take a stand that these people deserve a decent living for delivering our (frequently frivolous) purchases.


Minimum wage laws are already supposed to work like that.

The problem is that companies, Amazon and their contractors in particular, have been able to mischaracterize employees as "contractors" in order to get around minimum wage laws.

It's the lax enforcement of 1099 mischaracterization that has allowed the "gig economy" shit-sandwich jobs to proliferate. A deliver driver who has to maintain a delivery schedule or meet delivery deadlines given by Amazon (and in likelihood follows a programmed route given to them by an Amazon routing system) is in no real sense an INDEPENDENT contractor in the way that definition was originally meant.

Contractors are exempt from minimum wage laws because otherwise there would be a catch-22 situation if, say, a plumber you hired mis-estimated the amount of work involved in a job. (If he gave you an estimate that a job would be $100, and it turned out to take 10 hours plus $50 in materials, he could very well end up making below minimum wage. But he can't go back and squeeze you for more money; he's the one who gave you the estimate! But it hardly makes sense to penalize him again for not paying himself enough.) But these exceptions envisioned bona fide independent contractors, mostly skilled tradespeople, and not today's largely-unskilled and entry-level "contract" jobs.


This happened in the Netherlands with PostNL (former TNT) and the lawmakers actually are working to prohibit this false contracting (since there is a direct relation between employer and employee thus no contracting but regular employment). Though they are overdoing it and taking some self employed people down with it in the process. It's called 'wet DBA' and needs some refinement in the coming years but might work in the end.

You could call it progress though. And it is an example in which both regulation is needed and can be achieved somewhat.


Right, that is what I was trying to say (and maybe did poorly). A plumber bids his own contract. These deliveries are bid and structured by someone else. It should be more like how most mechanics work (especially at a dealership). There is a book that says that job X should normally take Y hours to complete. The mechanics know their rate of payment per hour. The way you really make money is by being better than Y hours. Yes, you can still screw up and take 2Y but there is a floor that is "fair" and you don't have to be worried about people bidding Y / 2 and a race to the bottom.


Incorrect, they are not given a route by Amazon. I have had friends doing this through On-Trac, and they were either calculating routes themselves (as a driver) or via a system at the On-Trac center.


> Who is to blame? Amazon? The companies? The drivers? Capitalism gone mad? Take your pick.

And a fashion against labor laws. One of the great things about labor, safety etc laws is that they apply to everyone. Company X may not want to implement safety rule X because it will increase costs and make the competition cheaper. Perhaps all the companies X, Y, and Z want to do it but all are afraid. If the law mandates it none are disadvantaged relative to their competition.

This is an important kind of externality, really no different from the paint factory dumping effluvia into the river, but less frequently discussed.


Amazon. They switched from using respectable national couriers that employ people full time in well paid jobs, to creating a platform that rewards bottom feeders. Adsense/Adwords did it with the ad industry. Uber did it with taxis etc. The constant march of technology for efficiency without considering the ethics.


'They switched from using respectable national couriers that employ people full time in well paid jobs, to creating a platform that rewards bottom feeders.'

Speaking about the UK, so apologies if the situation was different elsewhere.

But...

From how I remember it, these 'respectable national couriers' were just not doing the job they were paid to do.


Agreed, people like DHL, FedEx and ParcelForce in the UK were not delivering packages when they said they would.

There was a 3 month phase when I didn't recieve a single next day delivery on the next day.

It is a very rare occurance now when I don't get an amazon package delivered on time through amazon logistics.


The whole parcel delivery market (in the UK at least) has really ended up going this way over the last 5-10 years.

As soon as one company switches to self employed 'gig economy' compensation for their fleet, they get a big advantage in costs which means they can push prices lower.

The only way the competitors can match it IMO is by also switching to the same model, otherwise they lose contracts to the companies that do.

I think it's especially difficult in parcel delivery as the 'customer' is the store you order from, not yourself. So you don't really ever buy parcel delivery services yourself, it's always subcontracted.

Not really sure the best way to solve this apart from govt regulation, but feel it would cause all kinds of crazy side effects if not well thought out.


These carriers were too slow and didn’t operate on weekends. I blame the legacy carriers. A company like UPS or FedEx should be able to deliver around the clock while still treating its employees fairly. But they have not kept up.


'Who is to blame? Amazon? The companies? The drivers? Capitalism gone mad? Take your pick.'

You can add 'customers' to this list since this is where it all begins.

It isn't so long ago that all people complained about was the time it took for stuff to be delivered and all those 'we called but there was no one in' cards.

So capitalism responded and now folks have something else to complain about.


Customers can only choose not demand, so this is simply a red herring to shift and diffuse blame and responsibility to consumers from the primary abuser who is actually doing this, and create an environment of helplessness.

Tomorrow if customers demand 10% of the existing prices are companies going to line up with slave labour conditions to deliver and then shift blame? Responsibility does not work like this.


'..are companies going to line up with slave labour conditions to deliver and then shift blame?'

No because we don't drag people off the street and force them to be delivery drivers. There is a level at which people feel incentivised to do this kind of work and there is a level at which they look for something else.


Of all involved parties, drivers and customers are the ones with least power to influence this decisions. By far.

That's why unions and governments pushed hard to regulate employment to protect workers during the last 150 years.


Yes and then (in the UK) the labour movement split into working class people and middle class people with a socialist ideology.

As it turned out, the two are not mutually compatible.


I don't see why this was downvoted. If Amazon would treat their drivers better, prices and/or delivery times would go up. And that would make a lot of customers go to competitors who might treat their drivers worse but offer a better deal.


Once upon a time, not so long ago, this was perfectly acceptable:

"Please allow 28 days for delivery"


Amazon is to blame. They are probably offering rates that can only be met with sweatshop conditions. I see that at my company. Contractors are used to wash the the company free from any responsibility but they know exactly what's going on.


Whoever determines the service levels required by the contract between Amazon and the delivery company/ies. So, bizdev, vendor sales, etc. This wouldn't be the first time a company sold a feature it couldn't provide, or that requires superhuman committment by the people whose feet are on the ground (or keyboard, as the case may be).


Primarily Amazon, for not caring about the contractors life, as long packages get delivered and its cheap.

A company has a moral responsability to ensure its suppliers do meet certain standards.


It's wishful thinking to believe that any company has a moral responsibility. Companies only have legal/fiscal responsibilities. If you expect companies to act morally in the long-term you don't understand capitalism.


I sure do understand it, hence why don't agree with it and am a big supporter of unions.


Pretty much this. Capital abhors restrictions - whether moral or legal.


"skip lunch and urinate in plastic bottles, and some return to homes after their 9pm deadline"

"the allocation and number of stops, and the volume to be distributed for any given day, lies entirely with Amazon."

Argh. If true, hopefully someone can verify the claims and raise some visibility.


"Use contractors, they said. It's so much easier and cheaper, they said..."

I don't have any evidence as to the accuracy of this anecdote, but when I see those news stories about delivery drivers shitting on someone's lawn, this is right where my mind goes.

'That person probably had an insane deadline to meet and no protections ensuring that they get time for basic and universal human functions.'


> Argh. If true, hopefully someone can verify the claims and raise some visibility.

For the piss-in-bottles, ask any random truck or delivery driver. It's more common than you'd like...


I rarely get my amazon same day deliveries before 9pm. This is great, because I either get free delivery and free extension of amazon prime.


There was a time when you could give a christmas bonus to the mail man. I wish that the delivery men were more consistent, I would love to be able to give them a cash gift for all the work they do for me and my family on a regular basis.

Unfortunately it seems like during the holidays the usual delivery guy isn't around and it's a chaotic mix of people.

While we are here, I hate that they are now making people deliver on Sundays. Every year I struggle more with the morality of the package economy.


USPS now delivers exclusively on Sunday for Amazon. It looks like they are expanding this service with lower wage jobs, with less benefits compared to the traditional postal worker.

I was shocked to receive a package from Amazon via USPS this past Labor day, of all days.

Quite depressing to see the continued erosion of rights workers fought for over the past century, to service one of the most powerful companies in the country. I've been trying to opt myself out of Amazon where possible.

https://www.alternet.org/labor /horrific-new-marriage-between-your-post-office-and-amazon-sunday


You are misguided, working on Sunday is orthogonal to treating workers well. I admire your concern, but other metrics shine much more light on concern for humanity.

Growing up in Las Vegas, working on weekends was I think, beyond even what you’d imagine in some tourist destinations, some of those are at least were seasonal. Imagine if your delivery person who you are concerned about, worked weeekends and also in the middle of the night on a swing shift, my parents did.

Were all the casinos great places to work because of all this? Absolutely not, some made Amazon look great. However, I observed:

- There were big differences in treatment of employees between different operators. The overall effort and concern they had, or did not have, overshadows any single issue. So it’s good to call out businesses, but to encourage the right behavior a broader set of metrics is better.

- Families can be healthy and thrive with weekend and shift work if it’s done right, without crushing overtime or 12 hour days, and if they are treated well overall. Things in life just happen at different times come to seem quite normal.


I'd really prefer that people be paid an adequate wage where I don't feel like I have to tip.

And why is Sunday delivery worse than Sunday work in a myriad of other industries, like retail or restaurants?


I'm not big on Sunday retail either. I prefer the older tradition where most stores were closed on Sunday so people could be with their families.


For an alternative perspective: Sunday shopping is a boon to people who work or have other conflicts the rest of the time (e.g. work M-F, kids' games on Saturday).

Also for holidays: my mother really appreciated being able to work Thanksgiving, Xmas, July 4th etc because others really wanted that time to be with their families‡ -- those holidays meant nothing to us (immigrants) but meant that when she wanted someone to cover for her for some other day everybody owed her a favor (plus as a bonus people generally try not to go to the hospital those days -- she was an M.D.).

‡ (or perhaps it's simply that I was such a horrible kid that she was happy to be out of the house).


I’m thrilled that there are several places open on Sunday because I work a non-typical shift while keeping this whole Cloud Economy working. The standard 9-5, Monday-Friday work hours aren’t so “standard” in my corner of our industry.


'There was a time when you could give a christmas bonus to the mail man.'

In the UK this was the case until around 10 years ago. The local postman was part of the community.

Now we get random people with no local knowledge or connections. Hence letters and parcels end up at the wrong address or don't get delivered at all.


I always wondered why not have all delivery done at night? There is a lot less traffic generally between 10PM and 6AM for example, it seems like they could do a lot more deliveries and it would put less load on the highways and be safer and less stressful for drivers. And not sitting in traffic jams means less fuel consumption. Is there some reason why that is not done?


I'm working for UPS seasonally right now, and delivering packages after the sun goes down is about 3 times slower because it's so much harder to find people house numbers, and people's walkways and porches aren't well lit.

Working night shift isn't particularly appealing either, and residential streets don't have much traffic. UPS has a union who would oppose these changes I'm sure.


Good luck finding any houses at night or being shot while trying to use flashlight


pretty much. A couple weeks ago there was a post to the facebook group for my village 'watch out there's a man with a white van shining a torch into people's houses'

To be followed by comments saying 'that's just the Hermes delivery guy'


I don't want to live in a neighbourhood where night time deliveries are the norm. You may also find that not many people want to work overnight for a basic wage either.


It would prove tricky to do home deliveries at night when everyone's asleep...


dailymail.co.uk really shouldn't be on the front page of hn, its a tabloid.


Stop Funding Hate is a pressure group outing major brands and getting the to apologise for advertising in the Daily Mail, e.g. 'Paperchase', last week or so:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42058103

So this is a valid point, HN needs to find better sources that the Daily Mail. In light of this, here you go:

https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Reviews/Amazon-Flex-Reviews-E132...


Stop funding hate is a pressure group consisting of a few hundred far-left agitators. Censorship should be opposed in all forms.

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/11/stop-funding-hate-nast...


The Guardian will be a tabloid from early next year: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/jun/13/guardian-and-o...


Tabloid can refer to either a type of journalism, or newspaper format. Daily Mail is both, Guardian will only be the latter.


> Guardian will only be the latter.

I recon certain sections qualify.


and it’s more credible than “legitimate” news which constantly retract stories ever week now?


They're probably reaching road vehicle bandwidth saturation, which is affecting drivers and warehouse workers downstream of the web interface. Refactoring their supply model for depots and reallocating staff to the depots.

Y'know, the Amazon General Store.


Yet another point in the "don't use Amazon" column. Yes, it can be slightly less convenient to have to shop around - but if you can afford it, it's worth it for the peace of mind.

Besides, I no longer trust Amazon to send me the actual product listed. The small retailers have been far more reliable in that regard.


This "hire contractors" story is getting very familiar, ie Uber. Maybe we haven't had much innovation outside of writing the software and making the distribution chain. We need more roads and transit too.


I'd change the verb in the title to "criticize" instead of "complain about".


How about "reveal"?


They also deliver very late at night, past 11pm kind of late.


pesos have to flow in the right direction...


[flagged]


This comment breaks the guidelines by being unsubstantive and then complaining about voting. Could you give them another read, please?

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


You might enjoy this, I know I agree with it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNfAAQUQ_54&t=42m43s

(turn the sound down some before clicking the link though, it features screaming about important things for the right reasons)




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