‘The Strike Wave Is in Full Swing’: Amazon, Whole Foods Workers Walk Off Job to Protest Unjust and Unsafe Labor Practices 1

“One of the best ways to thank essential workers is to support the fight to improve their lives.”

(By: Julia Conley, Common Dreams) Labor rights advocates on Monday urged the public to show support and solidarity with Amazon employees who walked off the job at a Staten Island warehouse following what the workers said was an unacceptable response by the company to at least one case of coronavirus at the facility.

Between 50 and 200 employees at the warehouse, known as JFK8, walked off the job around 12:30 pm Monday, days after at least one case of coronavirus was reported at the facility. Christian Smalls, an employee who is organizing the strike, told CNN the number of employees who have tested positive for the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, is actually between five and seven, though the company has only acknowledged one infection.

The workers are demanding that Amazon shut the warehouse down and ensure it is sanitized before requiring employees to work again.

We’re not asking for much,” Smalls said. “We’re asking the building to be closed and sanitized, and for us to be paid [during that process].”

By ignoring the threat of transmission to other workers, tweeted the grassroots group New York Communities for Change, “Amazon is putting profits over safety.”

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