Logistics last mile delivery network in Europe presents a complex and challenging landscape for drivers, many of whom are not directly employed by directly by the big players likle Amazon. Instead, these drivers are part of a vast web of subcontracted companies.
The core of their work involves collecting parcels from Amazon’s warehouses, typically situated in out-of-town locations. These warehouses are often isolated, compounding the challenges faced by drivers. The lack of public transport access to these sites is a major concern, making it difficult for many drivers to commute to and from work. Additionally, these locations often lack essential public infrastructure, such as adequate lighting, parking spaces, and other facilities, which are crucial for ensuring the safety and well-being of the workforce.
A striking illustration of these challenges is brought to light in a video featuring a female driver sharing her experiences at an Amazon warehouse in northern Italy. Her narrative sheds light on the day-to-day realities and dangers she confronts. As she is not a direct employee of Amazon, she faces restrictions that further complicate her work life. One significant issue is the prohibition against using the parking spaces immediately outside the warehouse, a facility presumably reserved for direct Amazon employees.
This restriction means that she has to park her vehicle at a considerable distance from the warehouse and then proceed on foot to pick up her delivery van and parcels. This part of her daily routine, particularly in the early hours or late at night, is fraught with safety concerns. The isolation of the warehouse, compounded by inadequate lighting and the absence of pedestrian infrastructure, creates an environment where she feels unsafe, especially when there are few or no people around.
These conditions highlight broader issues within the gig economy and subcontracted labor practices. Workers like this driver are integral to the operations of major companies but often find themselves in precarious positions due to the nature of their indirect employment. Their experiences call attention to the need for better regulatory oversight, improved working conditions, and a reevaluation of the responsibilities that large corporations have towards all workers in their supply and delivery chains, regardless of direct or indirect employment status.