CLEVELAND — Some local delivery drivers will be out of a job this holiday season. Amazon has cut ties with Inpax, a company that delivers Amazon packages out of its Euclid location.
5 On Your Side Investigators have been looking into Inpax for the past eight months after numerous workers came to us saying they're weren't getting paid what they were owed. But even though Inpax is shutting down its operations in Euclid, this whole situation is far from over.
"If I do a job, you should pay me out for it. That's just the bottom line of it,” said former Inpax delivery driver Randy Huggins in a new sit-down interview. He was part of our original investigation into Inpax last spring. "Some people might go in for six days and they might only get paid for two," said Huggins back in April of this year.
During that investigation we were the first to alert Amazon about the pay problems at the Inpax Euclid location. Amazon launched an investigation and now it has severed its relationship with Inpax leading to Inpax closing its doors here.
"People have to live,” said Huggins. “And when you're messing with people's livelihood this is what happens."
Former Inpax worker William Wunch saw our investigation and contacted The Spitz Law Firm in Beachwood.
"I had seen the (news report) and I was like it's about time someone spoke out," said Wunch at the time of our original reporting.
Attorney Chris Wido watched our report, too.
"We could be talking about several hundred who were ripped off, taken advantage of, not paid properly and would be eligible to join this case if court grants our motion,” said Wido.
He is asking the courts for collective action for the group of people still joining in on the suit. Right now, the case pinpoints Inpax, but Wido said Amazon could be added under joint-employer status meaning Amazon was a significant part of the Inpax local delivery operations. "From training, to who controlled the delivery routes, to who the drivers reported to when there were certain issues, to who was controlling various aspects of how the job had to be done,” said Wido.
5 On Your Side Investigators obtained a U.S. Department of Labor investigation into Inpax. It redacts the company Inpax worked for, but it says "…Inpax are joint employers with -redacted- via contract. They employ courier drivers that are assigned to work out of -redacted- warehouses to deliver orders..."
"Did Inpax at the Euclid location solely deliver packages from Amazon?” we asked Huggins.
“Yup,” said. “That was all they did."
Wido isn't the only one recently questioning Amazon about contracted companies like Inpax and its problems. "I heard about it when WEWS, when Channel 5 unearthed it," said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio. He along with two other senators wrote a letter to Amazon “…demand(ing) the company immediately cease business with contractors that violate labor laws…”
"That's fundamentally not the American way to make more profits by squeezing workers,” said Senator Brown.
We've contacted Inpax. No response.
Amazon said it regularly evaluates its partnerships and Inpax no longer met Amazon's standards.
Meanwhile, Wido told us what has stunned him the most about this case.
"It seems there was a deliberate effort on the part of Inpax to not only to underpay overtime but to conceal the fact that they were even doing that to the employees,” said Wido.
None of the new developments surprise Huggins.
"When you do stuff like this and you're not attentive to your company and you're not attentive to your employees or you don't treat them fairly, especially the good ones, this is just what happens,” said Huggins.
Wido told us, so far, there are eight former Inpax workers that are a part of the lawsuit, with the potential for many more.