Detroit Amazon workers are joining a wave of protests ignited by the company’s allegedly unsafe work environments.
“Amazon workers at a fulfillment center near Detroit, Michigan, plan to walk out over the company’s handling of COVID-19. Workers at the facility, called DTW1, say management failed to notify them of the first new coronavirus case and was slow to alert them to the second, leading them to suspect there are more infections at the warehouse than they’re being told about. The workers also say that shortages of cleaning supplies, crowded conditions, and a pace of work that leaves little time for sanitation put them at risk of infection. They are calling on Amazon to be more transparent about the virus and immediately close and clean the warehouse.
On the morning of the walkout, workers received an alert that a third worker had tested positive for the virus.
‘As the numbers rise in Michigan, a lot of us strongly feel that there are more cases within DTW1 that they’re failing to tell us about, that they’re just covering it up, and a lot of us just have had enough,’ says Tonya Ramsay, a worker at DTW1 in Romulus, a city in the Detroit metro area. ‘I get we’re essential, but our lives are essential as well.’
The walkout is the latest in a series of labor actions at Amazon facilities. On Monday night, workers at a Chicago delivery station walked off the job in protest of Amazon’s refusal to close the building for cleaning after a worker tested positive for COVID-19. Earlier that day, workers at a Staten Island fulfillment center walked out, also calling on Amazon to close the facility for cleaning. At the time, Amazon had confirmed only one case of COVID-19 at the Staten Island facility, but, as with DTW1, workers suspected there were more. Amazon has since confirmed that five workers are infected with the virus, according to notifications viewed by The Verge.”
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