FILE PHOTO: A employee in a face masks walks by vehicles parked at an Amazon facility as the worldwide coronavirus outbreak continued in Bethpage on Lengthy Island in New York, U.S., March 17, 2020. Information/Andrew Kelly/File Picture

(Information) – A U.S. labor and activist coalition mentioned staff of Inc would take off work beginning on Tuesday to attract consideration to what it says are unsafe situations at warehouses in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

The motion entails greater than 350 of Amazon’s workers from 40 amenities, based on the coalition. The world’s largest on-line retailer has confronted a number of employee protests and calls for by unions for it to shut warehouses down.

The virus has contaminated greater than 2.four million folks globally together with Amazon warehouse workers, and it has given voice to labor activists on the retailer. Nevertheless, organizing has remained restricted and has not hampered operations at an organization with greater than 590,000 staff in the USA.

Information was unable to confirm the numbers shared by the coalition, often known as Athena. Amazon mentioned reviews of employees’ participation had been “grossly exaggerated.”

In a video that Athena posted on Twitter, employee Phillip Anthony Ruiz mentioned, “I’m not stepping into right this moment as a result of Amazon is placing our lives in danger.”

Facility closures would hinder Amazon’s capability to ship important items in the course of the pandemic, with the overwhelming majority of the U.S. inhabitants beneath authorities stay-at-home orders. The corporate has targeted on preventive well being measures to maintain work websites open: rising sanitation, mandating social distancing, giving staff face masks and taking their temperatures.

“Greater than 250,000 folks have come to work right this moment, much more than final week to serve their communities,” Amazon mentioned in an announcement. “We encourage anybody to check the well being and security measures Amazon has taken, and the velocity of their implementation, throughout this disaster with different retailers.”

Instances of the virus have been reported amongst workers from greater than 50 of Amazon’s U.S. warehouses, based on the New York Occasions. Amazon has 519 amenities in its U.S. distribution infrastructure, based on logistics consultancy MWPVL Worldwide Inc.

Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; modifying by Grant McCool


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