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An Amazon fulfillment center on in Hyderabad, India.

US Senators Call Amazon Out On Protecting Its Workers From Coronavirus

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A group of US senators has urged Amazon to do more in protecting its workers from coronavirus. This follows reports of a confirmed case of the pandemic in a US Amazon warehouse.


Four U.S. Senators, Cory Booker (D-New Jersey); Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont); Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey); and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), have shared an open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. They are asking that he takes more direct steps in preventing the spread of the disease among Amazon workers.


“We write today to strongly urge you to prioritize the health, safety, and well-being of your employees who are also our constituents, friends, family, and neighbors.


“Specifically, we are concerned by reports that managers at Amazon’s warehouses continue to hold ‘stand up’ staff meetings before every shift — meetings that result in dozens of staff crowded together in rooms for 10 or 15 minutes at a time — in contradiction of guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” the letter read.


The senators refer to new reports that allege that disinfectant wipes and sanitizers were in low supplies at Amazon facilities. In the letter, they claim that workers risk poor performance appraisals if they washed their hands after coughing or sneezing.


The senators shared the letter they sent to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.   Pic: Techcrunch.
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“Any failure of Amazon to keep its workers safe does not just put their employees at risk, it puts the entire country at risk,” the letter further said. The senators also noted that the virus could survive up to 24 hours on materials like the Amazon packaging.


Amazon, on the other hand, says it is helping communities while protecting its staff. It also adds that it has staggered work times and ended stand-up meetings during shifts. The eCommerce giants further announced that they now required hand-washing after someone sneezes or coughs.


“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,” Amazon said.


More than 200 striking Amazon workers called for the closure of a shipping center in Saran, South of Paris on 18th March 2020.


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