Bear Down Logistics, a company that expanded quickly in the past few years delivering packages for Amazon, will no longer be working with the company and was forced to cut hundreds of jobs as a result, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The company is ceasing operations in five states after it failed to meet Amazon’s standards. Because Amazon no longer works with United Parcel Service (UPS) or FedEx, there was an opportunity for smaller outfits to work with the delivery giant. The move shows that while Amazon offers opportunities to smaller companies, it will not hesitate to cut them off if its standards aren’t met.
Facilities in Ohio, Minnesota, Virginia and Illinois will close in April, and about 280 people will be let go. About 120 workers will lose their jobs at a location in Michigan. There’s a facility in Wisconsin whose status is unknown.
The company joins other companies from Washington state and Kansas, among others, that are cutting jobs in the wake of Amazon cutting ties with them.
“We have a responsibility to our customers and the communities where we operate to ensure these partners meet our high standards for things like safety and working conditions,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in an email, according to Bloomberg. “Occasionally we need to end a relationship with a partner, and when this happens, we are committed to helping the impacted employees find opportunities with other delivery service partners or to learn more about the thousands of available roles at Amazon delivery stations and fulfillment centers.”
Amazon’s program to work with smaller companies started in 2018, and over 800 businesses started up as a result. Amazon can negotiate easier with smaller companies and keep costs down. One Bear Down Logistics employee told Bloomberg that he makes $15 an hour versus the $20 an hour that UPS pays.
Amazon has been criticized in the past for sacrificing safety over speed, and there have been some injuries and deaths because of that attitude, according to internal Amazon documents.