Amazon leak claims workers offered higher pay as grocery demand grows

Marco Green
March 30, 2020

At least one employee at an Amazon facility in Teterboro tested positive for the coronavirus, but other employees weren't notified until more than a week after one person had tested positive, workers confirmed.

Previously, Amazon's emergency paid leave was exclusively available for employees who'd received a positive covid-19 diagnosis, a task that may be simple elsewhere but has been complicated by widespread testing shortages here in the U.S. In his response, Huseman implied that these requirements may be loosened moving forward.

The service is available in a large number of major cities, including ones now experiencing coronavirus outbreaks and strict stay-home orders.

"We ask that you intensify your efforts to protect the health and safety of your warehouse workers".

Owing to the rising demand for online grocery shopping amidst the ongoing health crisis, Amazon had recently announced its plans of hiring 100,000 new workers (both part-time and full-time) across the country to ensure timely deliveries and preventing essential items from running out of stock. "And they said 'No, because we don't have cameras in the bathroom'". It was the first known case at an Amazon warehouse in the United States.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA - A worker at Amazon's OKC1 fulfillment center said until he had tested positive, he needed to keep working to pay his bills.

EDISON, NEW JERSEY - Local news reported https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/coronavirus/2020/03/25/coronavirus-amazon-confirms-employee-edison-nj-tests-positive/5084582002 that an employee at the facility southwest of NY had tested positive for the virus.

As a expanding checklist of states order "nonessential" services shut to slow down the spread of COVID-19, Amazon is offering stockroom as well as shipment workers letters to bring stating that they are taken part in necessary job. Amazon is also offering all its hourly employees unlimited unpaid time off through April.

But many workers can't afford to stay home, even amid fears of a pandemic.

Unsatisfied with the company's "vague" responses to far, Sanders and Omar requested specifics about the company's emergency response plan, how it's enforcing social distancing guidelines from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and whether workers have the time and tools they need to exercise best practices for preserving their health, among other topics.

Last week, the firm elevated pay by $2 per hr as well as boosted overtime pay, but also for several workers, it had not been sufficient.

Petitions have reportedly been started, calling for Amazon to do more to protect its workers from the coronavirus while a GoFundMe campaign has been set up by the Amazonians United NYC employee group to raise money for employees that are staying home because of COVID-19.

As the pandemic worsens, workers at the Teterboro warehouse are faced with a hard decision: continue going to work and risk getting sick. "In doing so, this employee enables members of the community to remain at home and reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission, including the elderly and other vulnerable persons". Employees have also sounded the alarm about how they risk reprisal if they follow basic sanitary habits, as their work quotas are not adjusted to allot time for handwashing at the frequency recommended by the CDC. Weve reached out to Amazon for more details, and will update this story when we hear back.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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