Last week, reports surfaced about Amazon workers fearing for their safety after 10 employees reportedly contracted coronavirus. It seems their concerns have not been assuaged, as new reports state Amazon workers are just straight up walking out on the job, as Whole Foods employees plan to strike.
“#BREAKING: Over 100 Amazon employees at JFK8 warehouse walk off the job over @amazon’s dangerous response to protect workers from COVID19 in Staten Island,” @MakeTheRoadNY tweeted, along with a video showing as much. It seems tech workers at the company are also standing with the warehouse workers in an effort to get them paid leave.
“Today, warehouse workers on Staten Island in New York walked off the job in protest of Amazon’s treatment amid the crisis… In solidarity with warehouse workers, tech workers at Amazon are demanding the company provide fully paid family leave for people who miss work, provide fully paid leave to all Amazon workers, close facilities immediately following contamination, ensure full paid leave for workers whose jobs are impacted by such closures and ensure everyone has unlimited time to take care of their health.”
“Recognizing the urgency of the moment, tech workers are going beyond asking Amazon to take action and are pledging not to work for Amazon if it fails to act,” the DC Tech Workers Coalition wrote in a petition, according to the site. “We also pledge to ask organizations in our communities such as universities and conferences to not accept Amazon as a sponsor or participant in events.”
Amazon has responded, TechCrunch states, with a spokesperson saying they are working hard to keep their employees safe… “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 customers every day.”
Additionally, Whole Foods is owned by Amazon and their workers intend to strike as well, according to Vice.
“According to Vice, Whole Foods workers will call in sick tomorrow and demand paid sick leave for those who stay at home or self-quarantine during the pandemic,” TechCrunch states. “They will also demand free coronavirus testing for employees and hazard pay. Led by group Whole Worker, the sick-out was originally planned for May 1, but was moved up in response to reports that workers have started getting sick and testing positive for COVID-19.”
We will continue to keep you updated.