- Hundreds of Amazon workers in the US are set to protest Amazon’s handling of the coronavirus crisis by calling in sick this week.
- More than 300 Amazon employees have pledged to not go into work from Tuesday, according to worker rights group United for Respect.
- The tech giant has come under fire, with workers claiming they don’t have adequate protective equipment or distancing measures.
- CEO Jeff Bezos has mooted the idea of mass-testing all Amazon staff for the coronavirus.
- An Amazon spokesperson, Rachael Lighty, told Business Insider that the allegations were “simply unfounded.”
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Hundreds of US Amazon workers are set to protest Amazon’s handling of the coronavirus crisis by calling in sick this week.
United for Respect claims that there are confirmed COVID-19 cases at over 130 US warehouses. Business Insider has approached Amazon for confirmation on the number of warehouses impacted by COVID-19 cases. Previous reports have estimated that around 74 facilities have been affected.
The tech giant has come under fire after warehouse workers claimed the tech giant was not doing enough for their protection. Workers have told Business Insider that Amazon’s sick leave policy is confusing and that there is not enough protective equipment or hand sanitizer available sometimes. Amazon lost its first warehouse worker to COVID-19 on March 31.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has mooted the idea of mass-testing all Amazon staff for coronavirus, claiming “a next step in protecting our employees might be regular testing of all Amazonians” in a letter to shareholders Thursday.
This suggestion jars with some of Amazon’s recent reported actions, however.
The firm reportedly tried to shut down a virtual event for workers to speak out about its coronavirus response by deleting workers’ calendar invites, and the National Labour Relations Board is looking into multiple claims by Amazon workers that the company unlawfully retaliated against them for speaking out.
An Amazon spokesperson, Rachael Lighty, told Business Insider the allegations were “simply unfounded.”
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our teams,” she said. “Our employees are heroes fighting for their communities and helping people get critical items they need in this crisis. Like all businesses grappling with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we are working hard to keep employees safe while serving communities and the most vulnerable.
“We have taken extreme measures to keep people safe, tripling down on deep cleaning, procuring safety supplies that are available, and changing processes to ensure those in our buildings are keeping safe distances. The truth is the vast majority of employees continue to show up and do the heroic work of delivering for their communities every day.”
Lighty also urged people to compare Amazon’s response with that of other major retailers.