- Activists protesting Amazon’s treatment of warehouse workers during the coronavirus pandemic painted a giant mural outside CEO Jeff Bezos’ home in Washington, DC.
- “We’re calling him and Amazon out for leaving their workers out here without the proper personal protective equipment,” one of the activists told The Washington Post.
- Amazon has faced criticisms that it is neglecting worker safety during the coronavirus pandemic amid spiking demand.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Activists gathered outside Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ $US23 million mansion in Washington, DC, to paint a huge street mural to protest his firm’s treatment of warehouse workers.
The activists were from the climate-change charity Shut Down DC, and their mural said “PROTECT AMAZON WORKERS.”
A Washington Post reporter, Marissa Lang, was on the scene and said no movement was seen inside the house.
Lang added that the police were present to ensure the activists remained socially distanced during their work. She said they wore masks but did occasionally move closer than 6 feet apart. The mural took about an hour to complete.
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“We’re calling him and Amazon out for leaving their workers out here without the proper personal protective equipment,” Laura Beth Pelner, the activist who designed the mural, told The Post.
“We’re calling all these essential workers heroes – grocery-store workers and delivery drivers and everyone working at these Amazon warehouses filling people’s orders – but corporations aren’t doing enough to protect them. Essential workers are not expendable.”
Lang reports that two hours after the mural was completed, a worker wearing a mask hosed it away.
As demand for Amazon deliveries has surged with people staying inside, warehouse and delivery workers have found themselves on the front lines of the pandemic. Amazon has had to counterbalance spiking demand with the health and safety of its workers. The company has announced new policies around sick pay and time off, and it introduced measures like temperature checks, mask handouts, and increased cleaning.
Workers, however, including ones who have spoken with Business Insider, have said the company’s safety measures are missing, inadequate, or unenforceable.
In France, Amazon has shut down all its warehouses after a court ruled its worker protections were lacking.
Bezos’ personal net wealth has swollen thanks to the unprecedented demand for Amazon’s services. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos’ net worth is $US143 billion, more than double the wealth of Warren Buffett or Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.