Amazon warehouse employees and Instacart delivery workers joined protests in the New York borough of Staten Island on March 30.
The protest observed an urge for safety demands,stressing the risks for workers on the front lines of supplying the American citizens who are stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Find Out How a Warehouse Worker Triggered a Protest!
Approximately 50 to 60 employees joined a walkout at the Amazon worker warehouse, demanding that the facility be shut down and cleaned after a worker tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus.
A warehouse worker Christian Smalls took to Twitter and tweeted, .”There are positive cases working in these buildings infecting thousands.”
Amazon, responding to an AFP query, said Smalls made “misleading” statements about the situation and that he was supposed to be in quarantine.
Amazon said in a statement, “Like all businesses grappling with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we are working hard to keep employees safe while serving communities and the most vulnerable. We have taken extreme measures to keep people safe.”
Amazon’s Strict Action!
Following the protest, Smalls was officially fired by Amazon.
Amazon confirmed the decision, which it said was due to Smalls’s failure to abide by the company’s request that he self-isolate after he came in contact with another employee who tested positive for COVID-19.
By taking part in the protest, Amazon said in a statement, “He put the teams at risk. This is unacceptable.” A fact worth noting is that only 15 of the more than 5,000 employees at the site had taken part in the protest.
Amazon Might Have Violated a Law by Firing Smalls!
New York State Attorney General Letitia James called Smalls’s lay off “disgraceful” and highlighted that the law protects employee’s right to protest.
She stated that, “At a time when so many New Yorkers are struggling and are deeply concerned about their safety, this action was also immoral and inhumane,”
James said she was looking into options for legal recourse and had asked the National Labor Relations Board to investigate the incident.
Amazon Workers in the US demanding Halts as Demand Increases!
The American citizens are relying more and more on the online grocery delivering apps like Amazon amidst the COVID-19 lockdown.
Meanwhile, a group of workers at the Amazon-owned grocery chain, Whole Foods, called for a one day halt of its services on March 31 to urge demands for improved health measures.
The group calling itself “Whole Worker” said it was seeking guaranteed paid leave for quarantined workers, among other things.
A report by NBC News said Amazon workers at two Southern California warehouses had proposed demands to shut down the facilities for two weeks for sterilization while employees are tested for the virus.
Amazon has announced plans to expand its workforce by 100,000 in the US whereas its rival Walmart has sought to hire additional 150,000 people.