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Article

30 Mar 2020

Author:
Brian Fung, CNN Business

Amazon workers to stage a walkout Monday, demanding closure of Staten Island facility

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Amazon employees at the company's Staten Island, New York, facility plan to walk off the job Monday amid allegations the online retail giant has mishandled its response to the coronavirus pandemic. Employees are protesting Amazon's decision to keep the Staten Island warehouse open despite news of a confirmed case of the virus there last week...

An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement Sunday evening that the company's top priority is the health and safety of its employees. The spokesperson said that Amazon "recently implemented daily temperature screenings in our operations sites as an additional preventative measure to support the health and safety of our customers and employees."
 
... "The plan is to cease all operations until the building is closed and sanitized," Smalls [said, a process assistant at the facility who is leading the walkout]. "We're not asking for much. We're asking the building to be closed and sanitized, and for us to be paid [during that process]."... Jay Carney, Amazon's senior vice president of global corporate affairs, said... "This is our first and primary concern, which is making sure Amazon employees — 500,000-plus in the United States — are protected as they can be as they go about doing this heroic work for their fellow citizens," said Carney. He added: "We've also told employees if they're uncomfortable coming to work, if they're worried about their own health, they can take unlimited unpaid time off through the end of April with no repercussions at all. We don't want anyone to feel like their job depends on coming to work in this circumstance."

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