Amazon has apparently implemented a new “heat break” rule to protect workers from scorching outdoor temperatures, but one driver says the new policy is only making things worse.
In a viral TikTok with over 60,000 views, user Teejay (@dream_gurl11) explained why she thinks the new mandatory break policy is inconvenient and potentially dangerous.
“So, Amazon make us take these f*cking 10-minute heat breaks now every two hours,” the TikToker explained in the 53-second clip.
She acknowledged the policy was put in place “for the safety of the drivers,” because record-breaking high temperatures have gripped many parts of the country. Nonetheless, she questioned the way the new policy is being implemented.
“I’m in the middle of giving a package to a customer,” she said. “It says I can’t make a delivery. There’s nothing I can do.”
Apparently, the app abruptly stops working whenever the driver is expected to take a break, which leaves them in pretty awkward situations.
“Or I’m on the interstate using the GPS, ’10-minute heat break,'” she continued. “I could crash. I don’t know where I’m going.”
Ultimately, she argued the measure makes it harder for drivers and keeps them in the sun longer than they would be without it.
“We’re out here longer because we have to take 40, 50 minutes worth of breaks,” the Amazon worker argued.
@dream_gurl11 Just trying to do my job #amazon #amazondeliverydriver #texas #heat #stemtok🏳️🌈 ♬ original sound – Teejay🖤
In the comments section, other Amazon drivers and customers seemingly confirmed the newly implemented measure.
“Yoooo this literally happened to me yesterday,” user Quan wrote. “I was wondering why the guy was not getting out once in front of my house lol I just waited patiently.”
One driver offered up a work around for dealing with the inconvenience.
“Literally, but you can kind of bypass it, if you switch to your personal phone,” user Triaunnaaa said. “Works for me.”
According to Amazon’s website, the company has taken many measures to ensure workers and drivers stay cool. Aside from reportedly having standard air conditioners in its company vans, the online retailer said it has also spent millions ensure they are insulated. The company also claimed it provides supplies to help employees stay cool including bandanas, water tumblers, sunscreen, and electrolyte powder. Though Amazon’s website did disclose it has adjusted trade routes to shave off time drivers spend on the road, there was no mention of a heat break rule.
The Daily Dot reached out to Amazon via email and Teejay via TikTok comment for more information.