Amazon workers to stage walkout over company’s handling of coronavirus cases


FILE – In this Dec. 17, 2019, file photo, Tahsha Sydnor stows packages into special containers after Amazon robots deliver separated packages by zip code at an Amazon warehouse facility in Goodyear, Ariz. On Monday, March 16, 2020, Amazon said that it needs to hire 100,000 people across the U.S. to keep up with a crush of orders as the coronavirus spreads and keeps more people at home, shopping online. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Workers at an Amazon facility in New York are planning to walk off the job on Monday. They are protesting the company’s handling of a confirmed case of coronavirus at its Staten Island facility.

This as more people than ever are depending on the delivery service. When people are afraid to go outside, afraid to go to the store, getting Amazon to deliver life’s essentials to their homes seems like a safe alternative. But some Amazon workers say it’s not so safe for them.

In Wallingford about a week and a half ago, there was a worker who tested positive for COVID-19. The company released a statement saying it was stepping up cleaning schedules and following all guidelines from local officials in terms of how to handle the case.

Now comes word of another positive test, this one at the facility in Staten Island, New York. Workers there say Amazon mishandled the situation, and they say there are more workers testing positive for coronavirus than the company is admitting.

To draw attention to all of that, workers at the Staten Island facility plan to walk off the job at 12:30 p.m. Monday afternoon. They are demanding the whole place be shut down and completely sanitized.

Nothing indicates that Connecticut employees are planning any kind of similar action.

Amazon says it is taking workers’ temperatures daily, instituting social distancing in the workplace, and anyone who does not feel comfortable working there can go home for the next month and still keep their jobs. They won’t get paid, but they will be allowed to resume their jobs in May. Anyone who does get sick gets two weeks paid sick leave.

Again, there is nothing indicating Connecticut workers will be walking out. That planned job action is on Staten Island.

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