Taking greater steps after protests over workers’ condition: Amazon

Washington, April 2 (IANS) After being slammed by legislators, unions and employees about health safety across its workforce at warehouses amid the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon on Thursday said that it is taking major steps to protect the workers.

In a blog post, Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations at Amazon, said the company will begin taking employees’ temperatures when they report for work and supply them with face masks.

“We are now temperature checking more than 100,000 employees per day. The complete rollout of temperature checks across our entire US and European operations network and Whole Foods Market stores is expected by early next week,” said Clark.

The firing of an Amazon employee who organised a protest demanding more protection for workers amid the new coronavirus pandemic has not gone down well with the US Senators and the general public.

Earlier this week, Amazon had fired Chris Smalls, a worker at its Staten Island, New York warehouse, for allegedly breaking pandemic rules.

According to the retail giant, the company “terminated his employment for putting the health and safety of others at risk and violations of his terms of his employment.”

However, Small said in a statement that “Amazon would rather fire workers than face up to its total failure to do what it should to keep us, our families, and our communities safe.”

Clark said in the blog post that the company is conducting daily audits of the new health and safety measures it has put into place.

“With over 1,000 sites around the world, and so many measures and precautions rapidly rolled out over the past several weeks, there may be instances where we didn’t get it perfect, but I can assure you that’s just what there’ll be — exceptions,” said Clark.

On March 16, Amazon announced that it would be hiring an additional 100,000 people to help meet demand and will be investing more than $350 million to support employees and partners during the ongoing crisis.

“We have already hired over 80,000 people into those roles, and have spent more than $150 million to support our team of associates and partners,” said the company.



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