UPDATE: Amazon has reportedly fired Christian “Chris” Smalls, an assistant manager at Amazon, who helped organize the walk-out to bring attention to the unsafe conditions for both employees and customers. Smalls was interviewed earlier today in the video above.
Today, Amazon worker #ChrisSmalls helped lead an Amazon walkout for lack of COVID19 compliance that put workers, customers and New York in danger— CPD Action (@CPDAction) March 31, 2020
Today, Chris Smalls was shamefully fired by the wealthiest man in the world @JeffBezos #AmazonStrike
Amazon workers walked out of the JFK8 Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York, after reports of 10-11 workers in the facility coming down with the deadly coronavirus. Amazon has confirmed only one case of COVID-19 at the facility (MORE VIDEO BELOW).
The Amazon workers believe they were lied to by the online company, and are calling for Amazon to shut down the warehouse for two weeks for deep cleaning, notes The Verge.
Workers at 19 Amazon warehouses across the country have reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus, but the online giant has only closed warehouses when forced by government order or worker protests.
NPR reports the striking Amazon workers and Instacart’s grocery delivery workers want coronavirus protection gear and paid sick time off:
Workers from both Amazon and Instacart want more access to paid sick time off. At this time, it’s available only to those who have tested positive for the coronavirus or get placed on mandatory self-quarantine.
Amazon workers want their warehouse to be closed for a longer cleaning, with guaranteed pay.
Instacart’s grocery delivery gig workers are asking for disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer and better pay to offset the risk they are taking.
Jay Carney, Amazon’s senior vice president for global corporate affairs and a former White House press secretary to President Barack Obama, told NPR that keeping workers safe “is very important” and said: “We are taking every precaution we can.”
“I walked out because @Amazon lied, they told me there was one case in the building and there is actually eleven, so I don’t feel safe.”— Make the Road NY 🦋 (@MaketheRoadNY) March 30, 2020
We stand with Amazon workers at JFK8 warehouse going on strike to demand protections amid a pandemic. #AmazonStrike #ProtectAmazonWorkers pic.twitter.com/k3T2CzUOjB