Amazon workers reportedly plan nationwide protest tied to coronavirus


Amazon employees protest over conditions at the company’s Staten Island facility in March.

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Amazon warehouse workers across the US are reportedly planning to “call out sick” this week as part of a protest demanding more protections amid the coronavirus pandemic. More than 300 workers from at least 50 Amazon facilities plan to take part, according to CNBC. 

The protest, which is being organized by worker rights group United for Respect, will reportedly involve workers “calling out sick” starting Tuesday and continuing throughout the week. Workers are demanding increased protections like safety equipment and training on how to use it, as well as coverage of medical expenses related to COVID-19, according to United for Respect. 

Amazon has faced growing pressure over its handling of the coronavirus crisis, with elected officials, advocacy groups and employees calling for better protections. Amazon worker demonstrations have taken place in Chicago and Detroit, as well as at a company warehouse in Staten Island, New York

Amazon said it has implemented dozens of new health and safety protocols to protect employees, including increased cleanings and staggered start times to encourage social distancing. Earlier this month, Amazon said it will start temperature checks and provide face masks in US facilities.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our teams,” Amazon spokesperson Rachael Lighty said Tuesday. “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 their communities every day.”

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