Amazon Warehouse Strike New York Coronavirus

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Amazon workers to strike after colleague tests positive for coronavirus

The workers want the facility sanitized before they return to work.

Mar 30, 2020, 12:27 pm*

Tech

 

Andrew Wyrich

Employees at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York are planning to strike today, claiming the retail giant should have closed the facility after someone tested positive for coronavirus there last week.

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The workers plan to walk out of the facility around 11:30am CT and they want the facility to be sanitized before returning, organizers told the New York Post. They also want the workers to be paid while the warehouse is cleaned, they told CNN.

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Last week a worker at the Staten Island facility tested positive for coronavirus. The employee last showed up for work on March 11.

“We want the business closed down and sanitized before we return,” Chris Smalls, a management assistant at the warehouse, told the Post, adding: “People are scared, supervisors, managers … all levels. We’re unsafe. There are thousands of employees at risk.”

Smalls told the New York Daily News he knows of at least two other positive coronavirus cases at the facility and he’s been told to self-quarantine.

Amazon told CNBC the person at the facility that tested positive is staying in quarantine and people who worked with them have been asked to stay home, with pay, for two weeks.

“We are following all guidelines from local health officials and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site,” an Amazon spokesperson told CNBC.

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The retail giant also called some of the workers’ concerns “simply unfounded.”

“Like all businesses grappling with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we are working hard to keep employees safe while serving communities and the most vulnerable,” a spokesperson told the Daily News. “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.”

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*First Published: Mar 30, 2020, 10:56 am