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Article

13 Apr 2020

Author:
Michael Sainato, The Guardian

Amazon warehouse workers express fear of going to work & call on company to improve safety

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"'Jeff Bezos values profits above safety': Amazon workers voice pandemic concern," 7 April 2020

Workers at Amazon’s warehouse and shipping facilities say they fear going to work amid the coronavirus outbreak, and called on the company to do more to improve safety... [W]orkers the Guardian spoke to at facilities where there had been at least one positive Covid-19 case said they were not being closed for deep cleaning, and that physical distancing was failing as hundreds could be working in the same building during a shift. Several also said that the firm was delaying sharing news that workers had tested positive... At least 50 Amazon warehouses in the US have confirmed one or more employees have tested positive for coronavirus... Workers at Amazon warehouses in New York CityChicago and Detroit have held walkouts in protest of working conditions during the pandemic.

... The firm insists safety is paramount, and that its benefits changes during the crisis include an additional $2 an hour, double time for overtime and two weeks of paid time off for regular part-time and seasonal employees who test positive. Workers can also take unlimited unpaid time off, though some of those who spoke to the Guardian said this was not a choice they could make financially.

... Amazon denied claims from workers that sanitary supplies aren’t provided to all workers, and that disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer are standard across their network. “Nothing is more important than the safety of our teams… We are encouraging those who are unwell to stay home and taking extreme measures to keep people safe in our buildings,” said an Amazon spokesperson.

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