Amazon workers in US may walk out of jobs starting today 


Washington (USA), April 21 :

More than 300 Amazon employees will call out of work from Tuesday in protest as they allege that the online retail giant has been unable to keep its employees safe amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The callout is organized by labor groups 'United for Respect', 'New York Communities for Change' and 'Make the Road New York', making the largest mass action by workers amid the crisis owing to the pandemic outbreak, The Hill reported.

The nationwide protest follows several strikes at facilities in the New York City borough of Staten Island, Chicago and Detroit where employees have tested positive to COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

"I'm calling out this week because I'm scared to come to work and can't trust Amazon to keep me and my co-workers safe," Jaylen Camp, an Amazon worker at a fulfillment center in Romulus, Michigan, said.

"We have to make an impossible choice every day: go to a workplace that's not safe or risk losing a paycheck in the middle of a global recession. Rather than take real steps to protect our health, Amazon would rather stall, lie and fire the people who speak up. We will not be intimidated. Our health and everyone's health is too important," Camp added.

More than 130 Amazon facilities have had at least one employee test positive for COVID-19, according to Athena, a coalition of advocacy groups focused on working conditions at Amazon.
The company last week confirmed the first death of a warehouse worker from the disease, although it remains unknown where the worker contracted it.

Amazon has taken steps to address some of the issues raised by workers, including pledging to increase cleaning and enforce social distancing measures at warehouses.
It has also raised wages for hourly workers by $2 per hour and offered paid time for those with fevers, a common symptom of COVID-19.

Workers say Amazon has not fulfilled its commitment to provide personal protective equipment for workers and that the paid leave policy has not been applied consistently.

COVID-19 has infected more than 2.4 million people around the world. The U.S. has by far the most confirmed cases at more than 786,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

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