Amazon
(Photo : REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado/File Photo) FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon Web Services (AWS) is seen during the 4th annual America Digital Latin American Congress of Business and Technology in Santiago, Chile, September 5, 2018.
Amazon
(Photo : REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo) FILE PHOTO: A worker assembles a box for delivery at the Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., April 30, 2019.

As Americans retreat to their homes due to coronavirus pandemic, Amazon's sales on its to get basic necessities such as groceries and medicines have doubled. However, the eCommerce giant has created a potential internal public health crisis.

Amazon
(Photo : REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo)
FILE PHOTO: A worker assembles a box for delivery at the Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., April 30, 2019.

The demand surge has brought on the online retailer to make plans to hire 100,000 additional warehouse employees to respond to the needs of innumerable clients who are now in self-quarantine. Amazon has also increased the wage by $2 per hour by the end of April, according to a memo released on Monday, Mar. 16.


ALSO READ: Tech Giants Pledged to Pay Employees Per Hour Amid Working From Home Due to Coronavirus


Amazon's effort isn't enough to protect workers?


Workers said they fear that Amazon isn't doing enough to shield the viral outbreak in its warehouses in the United States. More than 1,500 Amazon personnel signed a petition on Monday. The workers asked for hazard pay, paid sick leave, paid childcare, closure of any facility where a worker is infected, among others.

A spokesperson for Amazon told BuzzFeed the vast majority of its employees continue to return to work and serve the people in their communities to deliver resources immediately to the doorsteps.

Amazon said it is going extra miles to keep the buildings extremely clean. The eCommerce giant also urged its employees to practice necessary precautions such as social distancing and other measures.

"Those who don't want to come to work are welcome to use the paid and unpaid time off options, and we support them in doing so," Amazon added.

Although hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and surgical masks are now available in facilities, a few personnel claims the supply is running low. Warehouses are not receiving any extra cleansing, employees claim. Others note that managers continue to insist on holding "stand-up" meetings in a small corner for 10 to 15 minutes before each shift at each facility.


ALSO READ: Nevermind Buying Face Masks, Sanitizers Online; Amazon, eBay Ban Sales Health Products Amid Coronavirus Outbreak


Situation not limited to US facilities, too

The dangers are not limited to US facilities. On Monday, Bloomberg stated that five warehouse people in Amazon centers in Spain and Italy were identified with COVID-19, prompting some unionized employees in Italy to call for a strike.

Some people in Europe have also been staying home to keep away from contamination. In essence, something that warehouse workers inside the US say is also occurring on the other side. The staff shortages compound the pressures on those who choose to remain at work, or can't afford to work at home.

According to Amazon workers, staffing in a few locations is down as much as half. Some are happy to get more money. However, employees also said there who needed the money from their warehouse activity more than their parents were laid off without pay due to coronavirus worries.

To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Amazon has been cleaning of its centers. It also contributed a few hand sanitizer for employee consumption and encouraging personnel to wash their hands frequently. In a few regions, it has additionally suspended the use of metal detectors; employees also acquired a message saying that Amazon imposed a social distancing of approximately three feet.

Some centers have also allowed employees to bring mobile phones onto the warehouse floor with them in case the circle of relatives members needs to contact them in an emergency.





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