Amazon warehouse workers gear up for mass protest in US this week

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New York– Alarmed at the spread of coronavirus in the country amid reports of poor health arrangements, Amazon warehouse employees in the US are planning a mass protest this week and over 300 workers have already signed up for it.

According to a CNBC report, the workers from about 50 facilities across the US have signed up to take part in the protest being organized under the aegis of United for Respect, a worker rights organisation.

There has been a raging debate over the alleged treatment of Amazon warehouse workers during the coronavirus pandemic in the US.

The e-commerce giant Amazon fired two technology workers last week after they criticised the working conditions of the company’s warehouse workers.

Amazon fired user experience designers Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa on Friday, according to a report in The Washington Post which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

The two workers earlier criticised Amazon for its climate policies. According to a report in The New York Times, a third employee, Chris Hayes, was also asked not to return to work.

According to the CNBC report, the workers are calling for Amazon to “immediately close down” any facilities that report positive cases.

They’re also calling for Amazon to provide paid sick leave and guarantee healthcare for all Amazon associates.

Amazon declined to comment on the walkout plans for this week.

Warehouse workers have complained about shortage of protective equipment to keep them safe and that the company has not proactively notified workers when their colleagues test positive for the virus.

Amazon said it has been addressing these issues.

“Our top concern is ensuring the health and safety of our employees. We made over 150 process updates to help protect employees — from enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures to piloting new efforts like using disinfectant fog in our New York fulfillment centre,” Amazon said in a recent blog post.

The company said it distributed personal protective gear, such as masks for its employees, and implemented temperature checks across its operations worldwide. (IANS)

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