The U.S. COVID-19 outbreak has spread to at least 10 Amazon warehouses, and has infected workers racing to deliver massive volumes of packages for consumers leery of leaving their homes to shop.
From New York to California and Michigan to Texas, workers tested positive for COVID-19 at Amazon warehouses and shipping facilities across the country in the past few days. In some cases, Amazon shut down facilities for cleaning and sanitization, while some workers who were in close contact with their infected colleagues have been quarantined.
But some workers complain Amazon hasn’t provided them with enough data about the spread of the virus in their surrounding facilities.
Bobbi Johnson heard rumors at her sortation center but only found out there was an infected co-worker after confronting a human resources staffer in the break room. She took off three days last week and another two days this week. She is extremely nervous about returning, but she needs the paycheck.
“You still have bills. You still have children you have to feed,” said Johnson, who works in Brownstown, Mich., just outside Detroit.
After workers at Amazon warehouses in Spain and Italy tested positive for the virus, warehouse workers in the USA have raised concerns that the company is not doing enough to protect them from the virus. Since then, more than 1,500 workers from around the world have signed a petition that calls on the company to take additional steps to ensure safety in the workplace.
A few workers complained that Amazon is pushing them to meet the per-hour delivery rate. They are worried that this practice discourages safe sanitary practices such as washing hands after a sneeze or cough. Others have complained about “stand-up” meetings, where workers stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the start of each shift.