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Fear of death: a day delivering for Amazon

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 9, 2020 - Duration: 02:52s

Fear of death: a day delivering for Amazon

35-year-old Excelso Sabulao is using his own car to make deliveries for Amazon and fears not only for his life but also for his parents, but he's still making deliveries during the health crisis because he can't afford not to.

Conway G.

Gittens has his story.

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Fear of death: a day delivering for Amazon

(SOUNDBITE) (English) EXCELSO SABULAO, A DELIVERY DRIVER FOR AMAZON FLEX, SAYING: “I'm just putting my faith in God that, you know, somehow, while doing this, I'm gonna be spared from getting infected by this because, you know, I can't afford it.” Excelso Sabulao, a 35-year-old delivery driver for Amazon Flex, a service that allows drivers to pick up extra cash by using personal vehicles to make deliveries, fears that every time he goes to work -he’s not only putting his life at risk, he raising the possibility of exposing his elderly parents… (SOUNDBITE) (English) EXCELSO SABULAO, A DELIVERY DRIVER FOR AMAZON FLEX, SAYING: “Once I get it, I'm going to spread it at home.

You know, it's like bringing death sentence to my parents.” But he has no choice.

This job is paying his bills and theirs.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) EXCELSO SABULAO, A DELIVERY DRIVER FOR AMAZON FLEX, SAYING: “They both have like at least three maintenance medications for their blood pressure.

My mom had, she had mild stroke back in ’17.” And so he stays on the job: gathering grocery bags from the Whole Foods unit of Amazon for his customers and then loading up his car for drop off.

He has the requisite tools of the trade– at least for now: Face masks and sanitizing wipes - check.

Hand sanitizer - check.

But he fears he’ll run out and wishes Amazon will start providing these crucial supplies.

Sabulao isn't feeling safe on the job despite taking precautions.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) EXCELSO SABULAO, A DELIVERY DRIVER FOR AMAZON FLEX, SAYING: “I guess the part that I'm afraid of the most is going inside the store and picking up those bags, you know, opening the fridge in the chiller, because I don't know if people, you know, people who are working in--they call it shoppers, the Whole Foods shoppers.

I don't know if one of them is infected or if one of the drivers is infected.

And then, you know, holding those with.

And of course, we can contract the virus from surfaces.

Right?

" Amazon recently told Reuters that it will supply face masks to all warehouse and Whole Foods workers and start doing temperature checks at all locations this week.

But contract workers such as Sabulao largely are on their own.

He's part of the gig economy - and doesn't make an hourly wage.

He gets paid per trip - so for him, tips can make a big difference.

He was recently surprised to get a $73 tip for a 2 mile delivery that would have only put $10 in his pocket.

Sabulao is grateful for the generosity and the value that customer placed on his work…he only wishes Amazon would do the same.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) EXCELSO SABULAO, A DELIVERY DRIVER FOR AMAZON FLEX, SAYING: “Amazon, you actually have to pay us more during these pandemics.

You know, we're risking our lives, literally risking our lives delivering your packages."

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