Delivery company files class action on behalf of 2,500 Amazon-branded partners

A Wyoming company is escalating a battle between Amazon and its network of delivery company partners who help get packages from warehouse to home across the country.

Amazon and Amazon Logistics, its transportation and logistics service, launched the Delivery Services Partners program in 2018, and billed it as a way for entrepreneurs to reap profits from an endless stream of online orders by setting up their own company. Employing your own drivers.

Since then, many delivery partners have tried to set unrealistic — and unsafe — expectations for drivers at Amazon Logistics, controlling most aspects of independently owned companies’ operations, and minimizing the potential profit for each business owner. is charged. two delivery partners working in Oregon and one in north carolina Amazon has been sued over the allegations.

Now, Wyoming-based Fli-Lo Falcon and owner Max Whitfield are going a step further with a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday in US District Court in Seattle on behalf of Amazon’s estimated 2,500 delivery service partners in the US.

“The DSP program is intended to protect Amazon from its responsibility to delivery drivers and the public,” the lawsuit read. Amazon, by and through [Amazon Logistics]Has almost complete control over the DSP but fails to provide the safeguards required under Washington law.

Fli-Lo, which is headquartered in Casper, Wyoming, agreed to deliver Amazon packages in Sacramento, Calif., through a contract lasting from October 2019 to May 15, 2021. After an upfront investment of $10,000 and for some time through Amazon to train drivers. The program, Fli-Lo, began making Amazon deliveries in January 2020 and did so until the end of its contract last year.

According to the lawsuit, during peak times, Fli-Lo delivered around 350-400 packages per day per van. A typical fleet had 20-40 Amazon-branded vans for delivery service partners, and Fli-Lo had about 80 drivers on the payroll “at any given time.”

Amazon Logistics sets route for drop-off and working drivers are monitored, tracking such things as vehicle acceleration and braking, as well as how often drivers touch their phones while driving and whether they are wearing seat belts. It would use that data to track a worker’s performance, and keep a record of “small violations,” the lawsuit alleged.

It would reduce a driver’s performance if they left a package on one side of a customer’s door, instead of the other, if they could not deliver a package because a building office was closed or if they lost a cellphone signal – and Resulting tracking capability – a rural route while driving.

Amazon Logistics will use those ratings and violations to “score” drivers and delivery service partners, and calculate whether the business owner will earn bonuses. Fli-Lo relied on the bonus that Amazon promised to meet the profit limit, but only received 5% of the weeks it operated.

According to court filings, delivery service partners made an average of between $31,500 and $64,500, far less than the $75,000-$300,000 profits Amazon made when Amazon launched the program.

,[Amazon Logistics] Uses a subjective and opaque formation with benchmarks impossible to determine profits, the lawsuit read. “The potential profit limit is a pipe dream that is rarely achieved.”

For drivers, Amazon set “overly aggressive deadlines that could rarely be met safely,” the lawsuit alleged. Those limits didn’t change if the driver had to navigate a dense urban area or drive to a high-rise apartment complex for delivery.

the hopes were so high That Whitfield often had to deploy a “rescue” driver to pick up an already “overburdened” worker on the road.

In response to the lawsuit, Amazon spokeswoman Maria Boschetti said the company disagrees with the allegations and believes they are without merit.

“Amazon is proud of the DSP program – it has created opportunities for more than 3,000 small businesses and created 250,000 new jobs, and the vast majority of DSP owners tell us they appreciate being a part of it,” Boschetti he said. “While we won’t always get everything right, we continue to invest millions of dollars to support our partners and help them succeed.”

Whitfield declined to comment through his attorney, Daniel Hume, of New York-based Kirby McInerney LLP.

It is not yet clear how many delivery service partners could be involved in the legal action complaint, but Whitfield and Hume estimate it could be in the thousands. It aims to include delivery service partners in the US who have signed up to follow the second iteration of Amazon’s program – DSP 2.0 – from 2019 to the present.

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