Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Illinois has many faults, but at least we don’t do this
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      About     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact Rich Miller
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Illinois has many faults, but at least we don’t do this

Monday, Nov 25, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From the Atlantic

[An investigation by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting] amassed internal injury records from 23 of [Amazon’s] 110 fulfillment centers nationwide. Taken together, the rate of serious injuries for those facilities was more than double the national average for the warehousing industry: 9.6 serious injuries per 100 full-time workers in 2018, compared with an industry average that year of 4. […]

But injury records and interviews with three of the former Amazon safety managers suggest the introduction of the robots led to even more injuries. Of the records Reveal obtained, most of the warehouses with the highest rates of injury deployed robots. One robotic facility in Kent, Washington—which a senior operations manager boasted was “the flagship of fulfillment,” as one of the few centers in 2016 to ship a million packages in a day—logged 292 serious injuries last year, for a rate of about 13 serious injuries per 100 workers.

* And this section on Indiana is simply repulsive

And when disaster struck at one Indiana warehouse, Amazon’s economic might may have helped the company evade accountability. When a maintenance worker was crushed to death by a forklift there, state officials in Indiana, which then was jockeying for Amazon’s second headquarters, sided with the company over their own investigator. […]

On Sept. 24, just a few days after he’d been eating ice cream and watching college football with his grandkids, Terry showed up for work and was sent to do maintenance on a forklift. He walked under the machine’s forks and metal platform to work on it with a wrench. Suddenly, the 1,200-pound piece of equipment dropped down and crushed him.

His body lay there nearly two hours before a co-worker noticed the pool of blood. […]

As he surveyed the site of the accident, [Indiana OSHA inspector John Stallone] quickly figured out the problem: A tall pole, lying just feet away, should have been used to prop up the forklift during maintenance. In a recording he made of his inspection, Stallone asked an Amazon manager whether there was any written documentation of Terry being trained on that. […]

Indiana OSHA issued four serious safety citations, for a total fine of $28,000. Stallone sought more, but he was getting pushback. On Nov. 20, 2017, Stallone joined his boss, Indiana OSHA Director Julie Alexander, as she called Amazon officials. He secretly recorded the conversation, which is legal in the state, and shared the recording with Reveal.

During the call, Alexander told the Amazon officials what she’d need from them in order to shift the blame from the company to “employee misconduct,” according to the recording. […]

Some days after the conference call with Amazon officials, Stallone said Indiana Labor Commissioner Rick Ruble pulled him into his office. The governor was there, too, standing by the commissioner’s desk, according to Stallone.

He recalled that Holcomb told him how much it would mean to Indiana if the state won the Amazon headquarters deal. Then, Stallone said, the commissioner told him to back off on the Amazon case—or resign.


  1. - Roadrager - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 3:05 pm:

    Really need Jeff Bezos to start wearing a top hat and monocle to better communicate that robber baron vibe.

    Maim and kill your workers, so that when you replace them with robots later, you can tout your improved safety record.

  2. - Anonish - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 3:07 pm:

    This doesn’t even get into the damage that workers are getting to their bladders in relation to Amazon’s work quotas and bathroom break policies.

  3. - State of DenIL - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 3:23 pm:

    This is the society we live in.

    John Stallone should feel honor. He upheld his beliefs, upheld the hard-fought battle workers have paid for in blood, and upheld the values of public service. This guy is a hero and stood up for this man, Terry. Terry was a grandparent with a loving family, not some god damned statistic for Amazon’s spreadsheets.

    The State of Indiana is obviously morally bankrupt. May Illinois never sink to those kind of criminal, murderous depths.

    American heroes vs those destined for Hell. The heroes only get 28,000 versus untold billions.

    I do not feel I am being hyperbolic. This is ugly and vile stuff. Thank you, Rich.

  4. - Ok - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 3:25 pm:


    “Open for business”

  5. - revvedup - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    Shocking to see this in Indiana. Could get very, very interesting with the Gov. having personal knowledge, and very expensive and rightfully embarrassing lawsuits to follow.

  6. - Honeybear - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    This is horrific stuff. Thanks for posting Rich

  7. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 3:28 pm:

    But yet American consumers will see to it Amazon posts yet another record breaking year.

  8. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 3:38 pm:

    ===He recalled that Holcomb told him how much it would mean to Indiana if the state won the Amazon headquarters deal. Then, Stallone said, the commissioner told him to back off on the Amazon case—or resign.===

    We currently have a federal investigation that is looking into exactly this kind of corruption.

    I’m not sure it’s fair to boast about what we do and don’t do here, when if we do it — we might just be better at being quiet about it.

  9. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 3:43 pm:

    shop local

  10. - Rudy's teeth - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 3:45 pm:

    Indiana’s business climate is geared toward corporations and not employees. Think of all the pollution flowing into Lake Michigan thanks to the refineries in Northwest Indiana. Whiting Metals and lead. The Indiana legislature voted to prohibit teachers from striking. The legislature heavily favors business over the citizens.

  11. - JoanP - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 3:46 pm:

    Literally sickening.

    Is it really worth the health and lives of these workers to be able to get something tomorrow? That pair of shoes can wait.

  12. - PublicServant - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 3:52 pm:

    What do you expect from a Pence understudy as governor? Just sayin…

  13. - Telly - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 3:53 pm:

    == very expensive and rightfully embarrassing lawsuits to follow. ==

    If the story is true, I would think an lawsuit would be the least of the governor’s concern. A federal criminal investigation is warranted.

  14. - twowaystreet - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 4:11 pm:

    ==Is it really worth the health and lives of these workers to be able to get something tomorrow? That pair of shoes can wait.==

    I have a family member that works in logistics and they always criticize Amazon’s obsession with getting things to people in one or two days and the strain it puts on their workforce when most people would be fine waiting a week or two.

    It is heartbreaking to see that this has resulted in lost lives, permanent disabilities, and the health and livelihood of people.

  15. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 4:12 pm:

    R.I.P. Phillip Terry

  16. - Left Leaner - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 4:14 pm:

    I listened to that whole story. Simply repulsive is a good description.

  17. - ktkat - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 4:26 pm:

    This is actually not surprising at all for Indiana. Their system in place for on the job injuries is horrific for the employees.

  18. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 5:00 pm:

    I tried Google but came up empty. Looking for work comp rates for warehouse worker IL vs IN.

  19. - Illinois could do better - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 6:04 pm:

    Illinois doesn’t treat State workers that great. I know of plenty of ADA filings that have been denied even with the Doctor proving that they are actual medical conditions that need reasonable accommodations.

    The above is just one kind of an example. State workers are not treated well by management.

  20. - Ares - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 6:09 pm:

    And in spite of all the crony capitalism, people are leaving the Hoosier State, too, in search of better opportunities.

  21. - Anon - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 7:16 pm:

    Remember how Rauner wrecked the state OSHA. It was something that JB found and wrote in his initial Rauner damage report.

  22. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 7:33 pm:

    I remember Rauner and OSHA. I also remember heat lamps turned on striking workers in the summer while walking the picket line in front of the Hyatt. Class warfare is class warfare no matter what letter comes after the name. Bloomberg D stop and frisk. It’s what the ultra rich do.

  23. - The Way I See It - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 9:27 pm:

    This is what being business friendly is all about.

  24. - Been There - Monday, Nov 25, 19 @ 10:31 pm:

    This is one of their billboards

    Come On IN
    for lower taxes, business and housing costs

    And I guess lower cost when your employees die

  25. - 17% Solution - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 5:41 am:

    “But yet American consumers will see to it Amazon posts yet another record breaking year.”
    Will Amazon pay taxes on another breaking year? That’s the problem. Amazon doesn’t make a profit. Amazon’s business model stinks. They churn through people with their draconian work rules and fire people. Because of this there are no old timers with institutional knowledge. People who are a second layer of protection when’s newbie does something unsafe. And they have to screen and teach new people over and over again. Eventually they will run out of people who want to work for them and they will have to hire the people they fired. At that point they might start making a profit.

  26. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 6:11 am:

    17%. Not sure I agree with the profit statement, but like most they finagle the tax laws for sure.

  27. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Nov 26, 19 @ 9:11 am:

    Nice to know what you get in Indiana for low taxes. Here is the rub, their taxes are not really low, their protections for workers are low and they give lots of goodies to corporations that pay low wages.

    Not so great Indiana.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for Juneteenth
* Cash bail did not necessarily make us any safer (Updated)
* Isabel’s afternoon roundup (Updated)
* GOP poll has Sorensen up by 9 points, but below 50 percent
* Showcasing The Retailers Who Make Illinois Work
* It’s just a bill
* Revenue omnibus includes some little-noticed charitable provisions
* Pritzker teams up with IBM, Discover Financial to push for federal quantum funds
* They’ll come back to it
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* Live coverage
* Selected press releases (Live updates)
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...







Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

June 2024
May 2024
April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller