Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ilhan Omar are requesting detailed information from Amazon into how the company plans to protect their warehouse workers, who remain on the job during this dire public health emergency.
This issue has become all the more urgent since workers at 10 Amazon warehouses tested positive for COVID-19 as of this week. Rep. Omar and Sen. Sanders have led similar efforts to hold Amazon accountable for endemic abuses at its warehouses.
They were joined by Reps. Angie Craig, Jesús G. “Chuy” García , Raúl M. Grijalva, Ann Kirkpatrick, Barbara Lee, Jerrold Nadler, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Jan Schakowsky, Mark Takano , Rashida Tlaib, and Nydia M. Velázquez.
“Workers at Amazon warehouses worldwide continue to raise concerns that their employer is not doing enough to protect them from exposure to COVID-19,” the members wrote. “More than 1,500 of these workers have signed a petition asking Amazon for a more comprehensive response plan, increased protections, hazard pay, and changes to productivity-based performance metrics.”
“Even prior to the dire global health crisis, these facilities have a proven record of high health and safety standard violations, and Amazon has failed to provide any substantive response or solutions to those violations,” they added. “Given that the company has announced plans to hire 100,000 new warehouse workers and institute mandatory overtime, we are growing more concerned that Amazon does not possess an adequate internal pandemic preparedness and response plan. Recent statements made by Amazon do not include sufficient detail, and use vague terms such as ‘often’ and ‘increasing,’ instead of providing specific data.”