Saturday, June 5, 2021

Amazon Driver Injuries & Complaining About Dysfunctional Cab Drivers Doesn't Make Them More Capable & YC 1092 Violated & New PSD Owner/Driver Agreement & Hail Magawa!

Something is Very Wrong at Amazon 

Those Amazon vans are everywhere, parked in odd places, blocking streets, all to deliver America what America wants but not necessarily needs, and besides packages, Amazon also delivering injury to its workforce.  Last year 2020, Amazon reported over 27,000 warehouse injuries, and the statistics for it's Delivery Service Partners were even worse, with a reported 13.3 drivers per 100 injured on the job.  

Why is this happening?  Because with each new work day, both the warehouse workers and delivery drivers are told to move faster, ever faster to complete their tasks, increasing their productivity.  Does this earn them more money?   No, it doesn't, then what is the payoff?---Jeff Bezos getting richer and richer by the second, Bezos nearing a personal worth of 200 billion dollars.  Is he out-of-control?  Yes but what can be done about it?  Nothing, nothing except avoiding Amazon as much as you can, Amazon the new plantation, its workers enslaved and exploited for the Bossman's gain, Amazon's invisible whip as real as any cowhide lashing the backs of hapless humans.  

A postscript to this is the news item this Sunday morning telling us that a 21 year old Amazon DSP driver attacked a 67 year old customer in Castro Valley, California.  While the kid will be held solely responsible for his actions, Amazon will be allowed to continue pressuring its employees and contractors beyond human endurance.  And given his wealth, few will question Bezos, Mister Bezos our Wall Street Hero leading investors to huge dividends.  Hurrah!

Chatting with the Puget Sound Dispatch General Manager

An impromptu conversation with Amin, PSD's GM, left me more frustrated than before our unscheduled meeting began.  While both liking and respecting Amin, I find unacceptable his policy of not clearly identifying the calls (bells) offered to us over our MTI dispatch system, telling him I need more information before deciding to accept or reject an offered fare.  Currently, at least 80% of the fares offered provide no indication of what they are or not, meaning all of us drivers must blindly guess whether it makes any sense to accept or reject.  And when the offered fare is 10 miles and 30 minutes of drive time away, we need to know what it is.  All this driving in heavy, crazy traffic is fatiguing.  We are an aging workforce.  We need commonsense applied to what we are doing, plainly requiring relief.

What we have now is a kind of game show scenario, where you have three choices hiding behind the curtains, leaving you guessing which contains the real prize.  PSD's argument is that by revealing whether a call is cash or account, the majority of drivers rejecting the cash fare every time.  And when I suggest any training that could improve driver decision making, he flatly rejects that, leading me to think that change will never come, an eternal frustration ceasing only upon walking away from the cab.

What I do know for sure is that its Yellow's customers who are paying the ultimate cost for PSD and driver dysfunction.  Last night I picked up Wendy, a regular customer of over 20 years, listening to her tale of waiting, waiting and waiting for her cab to both take her to and from work.  She is a real taxi commuter, taking Yellow RT five days a week.  Making her late for work is not how to treat a loyal customer but regardless, the woeful story continues to when, when will it end? 

Stealing from my Cab

The reason I was at the PSD office Tuesday was a Memorial Day theft of my electronic credit card reader from the cab. They also took the old meter.  All this cost me $200.00.  For the taxi life of me I never thought someone would take the reader because it is useless save what I use it for.  I also found out that PSD is no longer keeping replacement readers in stock because the vast majority of drivers are using alternate credit card payment systems.  I can understand why.  

Puget Sound Dispatch Wants Us to Sign the Dotted Line

 In this week's PSD newsletter, we were told that a new operator agreement will soon be available for us to sign, adhering us to polices and arrangements we may not want to follow, but how can anyone know one way or the other when none of us single owners have been shown a draft copy or asked for our input.  Upon finding this out, I have requested PSD to do exactly that, that before any of us sign this new document, we first must be shown an initial draft and allowed time for comment and input.  

As I keep pointing out, we are independent contractors and not employees, and moreover, we are PSD's sole financial support and without us, PSD doesn't exist.  It might be an overreaction but I am reminded of Russia's Catherine the Great and her amazing art collection funded by hard laboring Russian serfs.  If you ever wondered why the 1917 Russian Revolution occurred, go online and look at the art collection contained in the Hermitage Art Museum in Saint Petersburg and you will gain understanding why people revolted, taking to the streets.  I walked those galleries and glad I did but what paid for those amazing paintings?  The sweat and blood of impoverished peasants.    

What I am questioning is the current dichotomy between association and single owners, who is in control, under what kind of authority do taxi associations operate under?  This is an extremely important question, which I am hoping the City of Seattle and King County will answer this week when I meet to discuss various issues with those very same taxi regulators.  PSD currently says it has complete control to make any and all decisions regarding us minus input and complaint.  Is that true?  And if that is true, how can this kind of arrangement continue without recognizing that the single owners must be included in what should be a democratic process of give and take negotiation.  We are not serfs toiling upon the Siberian steppes but free cabbies wanting to grow our lives in the fertile soil that is American democracy.  

And all I am advocating for is an equal partnership, not a bloody revolution and the sharp guillotine.  Let us talk.  Let us be free.  

Hail Magawa!

No, Magawa is not a cabbie but an African pouched rat trained to sniff out land mines and unexploded bombs.  Now I am sure Magawa would be a great taxi driver but he is retiring at age 6 after helping clear mine fields in Cambodia.  Magawa is a real hero and awarded a gold medal for bravery from the British charity PDSA, Magawa the first of its species to win an honor previously reserved for dogs.  In his six years of service, Magawa found 71 land mine and 38 pieces of unexploded ordnance.  Good work! 

And if Magawa owned Amazon, do you think he would act like Jeff Bezos?  Not a chance!




1 comment:

  1. Joey ,
    The 21 year old Amazon driver
    who attacked the 67 year old
    customer is a woman. This is
    from other news articles.