Amazon Workers on Staten Island Prepare to Strike Over Coronavirus Protections

The union representing warehouse workers claims Amazon is not prioritizing profits instead of employee safety.

Amazon workers at a Staten Island warehouse plan to strike Monday to call attention to the company's "lack of safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic."

The union representing the workers claims Amazon is not prioritizing profits instead of employee safety.

"All employers need to prioritize the health and safety of their workforce at this time. Unfortunately, Amazon appears to be prioritizing maximizing its enormous profits even over its employees' safety - and this is unacceptable," said Stuart Appelbaum, RWDSU president.

The walkout is scheduled for 12 p.m. Monday.

Nearly 100 workers at the facility, known as JFK8, plan to participate in the work stoppag, CNBC reports. JFK8 employs 4,500 workers and spans 855,000 square feet.

An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC it was supporting an individual from JFK8 who is in quarantine and asked anyone who was in contact with the individual to stay home with pay for two weeks. The facility has remained open.

NBC New York obtained the following statement from an Amazon spokesperson, which reads in part:

"Like all businesses grappling with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we are working hard to keep employees safe while serving communities and the most vulnerable. We have taken extreme measures to keep people safe, tripling down on deep cleaning, procuring safety supplies that are available, and changing processes to ensure those in our buildings are keeping safe distances. The truth is the vast majority of employees continue to show up and do the heroic work of delivering for customers every day."

According to Amazon, all its employees who test positive for the novel coronavirus will receive pay for two weeks. The fulfillment center on State Island is also implementing daily temperature checks for its workers, the company says.

Copyright NBC New York
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