An eighth Amazon worker has died of COVID-19. The information comes as the corporate is beneath scrutiny for failing to be extra clear concerning the wider variety of infections amongst its warehouse staff.
A spokesperson confirmed the stories of the loss of life, telling TechCrunch, “We are saddened by the lack of an affiliate who had labored at our web site in Randall, Ohio. “Her household and family members are in our ideas, and we’re supporting her fellow colleagues.”
According to the corporate, the employee in North Randall, a village outdoors of Cleveland, was despatched dwelling from work on April 30. She acquired a constructive take a look at somewhat over per week later, on May 8. Amazon says it notified fellow workers of the loss of life and has offered counseling to colleagues.
The total variety of Amazon staff who’ve examined constructive for the virus stays a thriller. The firm stands by its determination to not disclose such info. “We don’t assume that quantity is tremendous useful,” it has mentioned beforehand. In an announcement offered to TechCrunch, it added:
Our charges of an infection are at or under the charges of the communities the place we function. We see that in our quarantine charges as effectively. Quarantine charges are a essential half to understanding what’s occurring within the office – it exhibits that our exhausting work round social distancing is paying off. Unlike others who disguise past HIPAA, we alert each particular person on the web site anytime there’s a confirmed analysis. This alert to workers is a direct textual content message noting when the particular person with the confirmed analysis was final within the constructing.
The lack of transparency is considered one of numerous sources of criticism surrounding Amazon’s COVID-19 response.
While the corporate has repeatedly maintained that it has accomplished all it will probably to guard the staff in its achievement facilities, potential publicity to the virus amongst warehouse staff is troublesome to keep away from, even with the correct PPE. Earlier this month, a letter from 13 state attorneys common demanded that Amazon disclose the variety of staff who’ve been impacted by the virus.
“We have requested however not acquired info on how most of the Companies’ staff have been contaminated with COVID-19, and what number of have died from it,” the letter reads. “Please present a state-by-state breakdown for every Company with this info.”
Earlier this week, The New York Times famous one notably exhausting hit warehouse in northeastern Pennsylvania, the place greater than 100 staff have apparently examined constructive for the virus. The actual determine is unknown, as Amazon won’t disclose it. Yesterday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel famous that at the very least 30 staff on the close by Kenosha warehouse have examined constructive for the virus.
As extra housebound Americans depend on Amazon for deliveries, staff have largely fallen beneath the “important companies” tips issued by many states. In mid-May, the corporate prolonged its $2 an hour “hazard pay bonuses” by way of the top of the month. Amazon confirmed that it’s going to return to straightforward salaries, come June, stating:
To thank workers and assist meet elevated demand, we’ve paid our group and companions practically $800 million further since COVID-19 began whereas persevering with to supply full advantages from day considered one of employment. With demand stabilized, subsequent month we’ll return to our industry-leading beginning wage of $15 an hour.
The firm has been topic to extra scrutiny over the firing of a number of workers which have raised public issues over its therapy of staff in the course of the disaster. While Amazon has repeatedly denied the firings had been retaliation, the stories had been sufficient to warrant one other letter, this time from numerous high-profile senators, together with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.