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         Workers In 8 Amazon Warehouses Test Positive For Coronavirus

         Amazon warehouse workers organized to demand PTO, and coronavirus clinched it



Workers In 8 Amazon Warehouses Test Positive For Coronavirus


Bobby Allyn, NPR

March 24, 2020


Workers in at least eight Amazon warehouses across the country have tested positive for coronavirus, just as the e-commerce giant ramps up hiring to meet surging online sales.


In recent days, warehouse workers at two separate sites in New York City, in Staten Island and Queens, in addition to employees at warehouses in Jacksonville, Fla., Oklahoma City, Brownstown, Mich., Katy, Tex., Wallingford, Conn. and Shepherdsville, Ky., have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to media reports and Amazon officials.


In response, Amazon temporarily closed down facilities in some cases in order for the centers to be sanitized.


Amazon has announced it plans to hire 100,000 new workers for warehouses and delivery services in order to meet the rise in orders to the company's fulfillment centers, as millions of Americans obey orders to stay indoors and turn increasingly to online shopping.


Hundreds of workers have signed a petition saying they do not think Amazon has done enough to ensure they are protected during the coronavirus-fueled boom for the company. The workers demanded hazard pay, paid sick leave and child care.


Among other demands, the workers asked that Amazon extend paid sick leave part-time and seasonal delivery employees.


Amazon says employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined will have two weeks of pay in addition to unlimited unpaid leave through the end of March, as previously announced.


Additionally, Amazon has established a $25 million fund from which "independent delivery service partners and their drivers, Amazon Flex participants, and seasonal employees" under financial distress can apply for grants equal to up to two weeks if diagnosed with coronavirus or in quarantine.


An Amazon official told NPR that the company has...


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Amazon warehouse workers organized to demand PTO, and coronavirus clinched it


Devin Coldewey, TechCrunch

March 24, 2020


Amazon never tires of explaining how great it is to work at one of its warehouses, but as usual the actual employees tell a different story. This particular group of Chicago workers was fed up with the company failing to provide paid time off or vacation it promised to part-time workers. They organized; Amazon resisted ó and at last, the coronavirus acted as tiebreaker.


Itís an interesting first-hand story from workers being exploited by a business and working to change that ó† I say exploited not because the work is hard and the pay low, though thatís true too, but because they had to fight to get basic considerations and resources from a company claiming to value their health and welfare.


The group is not a union, but itís the seed from which unions sprang long ago: workers with a common grievance acting in unison to force management to come to the table. Originally the group formed to make a petition for access to clean water to drink. You read that right! After complaining individually to no effect, they got 150 people to sign the petition, presented it and soon there were pallets of bottled water available and new water stations being installed...