An Amazon dispatcher pressured a driver to keep delivering packages amid tornado alarms

The driver was told to keep delivering packages even after the tornado sirens sounded. That is according to a document that was shared this week by a news agency, and it is said to have happened last Friday before a tornado hit an Amazon warehouse in Illinois, killing six people. In a message sent at 7:08PM, the dispatch said to just keep driving. Unless Amazon tells us to do so, we can't just call people back.

The driver said she wanted to turn back for her safety after being told to keep delivering. The worst of the storm is going to be right on top of me in 30 minutes. She was told she would lose her job if she drove back.

If you return with your packages, you will be seen as refusing your route, which will end with you not having a job come tomorrow morning, according to the dispatch. The driver was told to shelter in place after he said he was stuck in the van without a safe place to go.

Amazon said the dispatch didn't follow safety guidelines. The company said that the driver is safe and that it is investigating the incident. The full statement was shared with the outlet.

The delivery service partner's dispatch didn't follow the standard safety practice, and this was a developing situation across a broad geographic area. The driver should have been directed to seek shelter when he reported hearing tornado sirens. The local Amazon team was making sure that each delivery service partner had directed their drivers to shelter in place or seek shelter and that they should stop delivering for the evening. We are using the learnings from this incident to improve our policies and guidance for delivery service partners and drivers. We will take any necessary action if the driver was threatened by the dispatch, but we are investigating the full details of the incident.

Workers were expected to clock in even during extreme weather because of Amazon's policies. The retailer kept its warehouses open during the flooding in New York City. The drivers told Bryan Menegus that they delivered packages in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Even in extreme heat, the company keeps its facilities open. The company had employees work even as temperatures inside one of their facilities reached 90 degrees during the historic heatwave that hit the Pacific Northwest this past summer.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the collapse of the warehouse. The facility didn't conduct any drills before the tornado that would have prepared them for the emergency, according to employees who spoke to Bloomberg.