Coronavirus & Amazon logistics workers

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice sent the email below internally at Amazon on Friday, March 27, asking corporate & tech workers to sign an open letter that our coworkers working in warehouses around the world have written.

Over 580 corporate & tech workers (and counting) have signed our names to the open letter.

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Amazon warehouse workers and delivery drivers from around the world reached out to Amazon Employees for Climate Justice for corporate worker support. This pandemic — like the climate crisis — stresses our society, its systems, and institutions. Both crises threaten everybody, but not equally. Logistics workers are on the front lines risking their lives now. As with the climate crisis, in this pandemic we succeed or fail together.

Please join us in signing the workers’ petition (if you are an Amazon worker)

Amazon logistics workers in their own words, videos, and photos:

  • Massive crowding: A far cry from the CDC’s 6ft apart guidance — hundreds of Amazon workers are crowded together as they pass by each other at the end of their shift. Watch the video.
  • It’s already spreading, fast: “After the second [coronavirus] case, Amazon didn’t close the building even for one shift. After the third, they closed it for 48 hrs. They still have not implemented proper social distancing procedures and continue to ship non-essential goods.”
  • Fear, lack of transparency about cases, high barriers to quarantine pay: “It is an important time for Amazon HQ workers to be made to accept and understand the conditions, fear and anger amongst Amazon’s warehouse workers… Amazon is putting up very high barriers to receiving quarantine pay. And Amazon is being very opaque, not informing us about coronavirus cases at our workplaces or workplaces up the logistics stream and even lying to us at stand up when we ask whether a coworker that was taken away in an ambulance had coronavirus or not.”
  • Hand washing issues: An Amazon warehouse worker was written up who left 2 minutes early for break to wash their hands. (link with documentation)
  • Not disclosing risk: “Today we found out that there’s two positive people who’ve worked at the warehouse. They found out on the 17th & waited 8 DAYS to tell us. Risking our health. They still expect us to work & believe they’ll disinfect in the building. They told us to make sure we wash our hands, disinfect our work stations & use hand sanitizer….after lying to us.”
  • Issues with disinfecting and social distancing: “Our equipment, packages, and warehouse surfaces are not consistently disinfected if at all. We all know from common sense and 8th grade science class that these measures have absolutely no effect on reducing the transfer for the virus between coworkers, they’re only implemented for the false appearance of ‘social distancing.’ We have all resigned to the fate of contracting the virus if anyone in our warehouse comes in with it.”
  • Risking health for non-essential items:“The company is prioritizing essential goods only on the inbound side. The orders going out are the same as always. You get to a pack station and you have no way to sanitize it, and you ask yourself ‘am I really risking my health to send someone a fucking bar stool.”’
  • Wrong information on posters: Even Amazon’s posters in warehouses are wrong. Social distancing needs to be 6 feet, not 3 ft. (See photo)

It’s not just warehouse workers who are sounding the alarm:

  1. Attorneys general in 14 states and Washington, D.C., said Amazon’s sick leave policies are ‘inadequate to protect the public health during the developing COVID-19 crisis’”,
  2. Kentucky’s governor closed a returns warehouse where three workers tested positive for COVID-19.
  3. Four senators wrote Bezos over concerns “Amazon is not doing enough to support its staff or protect our communities during the outbreak of COVID-19.”

Amazon *does* deliver essential supplies to its customers, but we cannot do so at the expense of the lives of our coworkers, further endangering public health. If we are not comfortable working in the conditions described above ourselves (or our daughter with asthma, or uncle who is over 60), *no one* should work in these conditions. Meanwhile, logistics workers are asking us, corporate workers to support their demands as they put their lives on the line.

Please join us in signing the workers’ petition (if you are an Amazon worker)

Sincerely,

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice

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