On March 17, Amazon employees complained that not enough safety precautions were in place to protect them from COVID-19. Cut to a week later, and Amazon employees from ten different warehouses in the United States have now tested positive with the coronavirus.
From The Washington Post:
In the past few days, Amazon workers tested positive for covid-19, the disease caused by the novel virus, two in New York City; Shepherdsville, Ky.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Katy, Tex.; Brownstown, Mich.; Oklahoma City; Moreno Valley, Calif.; Joliet, Ill.; and Wallingford, Conn., according to Amazon and local media reports. In some cases, Amazon shut down facilities for cleaning, and some co-workers who were in close contact with their infected colleagues have been quarantined.
At least 1,500 Amazon workers globally signed a petition within the last week asking for more regulations to prevent the spread of the disease after company employees in Spain and Italy had been infected. They complained that "Amazon pushes them to meet the per-hour rate at which it wants orders fulfilled, a practice that they worry discourages safe sanitary practices such as washing hands after a cough or sneeze. Others have complained about "stand-up" meetings, where workers stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the start of each shift," according to The Washington Post.
Amazon has increased pay by $2/hour until May and is currently looking to hire 100,000 new workers to help with the staggering demands that have erupted since the outbreak. Let's hope they have an endless supply of face masks and gloves to last through the season.
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