- Certain organizations have made numerous false statements about Coupang’s worker safety. The media, including the Financial Times, has published several of these false statements. Coupang has retained outside legal counsel and has been actively engaged with the media outlets to correct these erroneous statements. As a result, the Financial Times made several significant corrections to its story. Below are the facts on worker safety at Coupang: In the last 10 years, Coupang has had zero accident deaths. Over that same time period, the logistics industry average is 80 accident deaths per year. [see chart below]
- In the last 10 years, there has been only one work-related death. In contrast, the number of work-related deaths in the logistics industry is approximately 120-150 every year. [see chart below]
- The union is claiming that Coupang has had 9 work-related deaths in 2020 and 2021. Of the 9, 2 were not Coupang workers and those deaths were not accident-related. Out of the remaining 7 Coupang worker deaths, 3 died from incidents at home or on vacation, and only 4 incidents occurred on site. All 4 on-site incidents were heart attack-related and none were due to accidents. The union is trying to portray as work related all heart and coronary-related incidents including those that occur at home or on vacation. Cardiac and cerebrovascular disorders are the 2nd and 4th leading causes of death in Korea, and Coupang’s rate of both disorders are lower than the national average in Korea, which is one fourth the rate of the US.
- Dong-il Kim, Vice Chairman of Korea Special Health Examination Association (Occupational Environmental Medicine Specialist), an occupational environment medical specialist, said, “As of 2019, ischemic heart diseases and cerebrovascular diseases took as many as 35,000 lives in Korea,” adding, “If three out of the 51000 employees, as of the end of 2020, died from cardiovascular diseases, the number of deaths caused by ischemic heart diseases and cerebrovascular diseases in Coupang is lower than the national average even if taking the gender and age of the population into account.” <Column link: Upon the controversy over overwork deaths in the logistics industry>
- None of the Coupang employees worked more than 52 hours a week, and most worked around 40 hours a week on average. This is far less than the industry average of more than 6 days and 71 hours per week.
Worker Safety Policies:
- At Coupang, we care deeply about the welfare of all employees, and we take our responsibility to protect their health and safety seriously. Our record of safety reflects our commitment to lead the logistics industry on health and safety issues. We have been at the forefront creating a new working environment for the logistics industry in Korea. For example, in the logistics industry where the standard is a six-day workweek, we were the first and remain the only major company to implement a 5-day workweek for our drivers. We also hire directly 100% of our drivers, Coupang friends, and provide them with paid time off, guaranteed bathroom breaks (at the employee’s discretion) and one-hour breaks for every 8 hours worked, and full benefits. The vast majority of drivers in the logistics industry receive none of the three. [see chart below].