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Amazon workers strike again

Amazon Air | Photo by Jessica Fugett | The Wright State Guardian

Amazon Air | Photo by Jessica Fugett | The Wright State Guardian

Amazon workers called in sick as they went on their third warehouse strike on Tuesday, April 21.

This comes after workers are upset about the lack of personal protection equipment, paid sick leave and cleaning supplies. Much concern has been raised for how Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, is fighting against coronavirus.

This 300-employee strike is not the first strike that Amazon workers have conducted since the beginning of the pandemic and since concerns began arising about the safety Amazon is providing.

Over 70 Amazon-run facilities have had previous coronavirus outbreaks, according to The Hill.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, Amazon has seen a massive increase in demand. This demand has helped Bezos increase his net wealth by $24 billion, according to BBC News.

This has led to massive backlash as Amazon has had questionable response measures to the outbreak.

Amazon has increased cleaning of their warehouses, enforced social distancing and enforced new safety standards for employees, but the massive online retailer fails to provide sick leave for employees unless they have been diagnosed with coronavirus.

The company did provide unlimited unpaid sick time, but starting May 1, workers must request an unpaid leave of absence, according to The Verge.

Four senators, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Bob Menendez and Sherrod Brown, wrote a letter to Bezos together asking him how the safety of warehouses is being handled, according to The Verge.

To make matters worse, Amazon fired an employee from New York as he led a strike over coronavirus concerns which has led to nationwide criticism, according to CNET. The firing has gained attention from the media and other Amazon employees as they point out other questionable actions Amazon has committed.

For example, the company failed to properly protect their Staten Island facility staff when a coworker tested positive for coronavirus and only those that had had direct contact with the employee were told to stay home. The Staten Island facility has tested and confirmed 14 coronavirus cases, according to The Verge.

Amazon has since implemented an increase in hourly wages and has offered overtime to help combat massive demand. However, their business practices have led to questions about how a business should treat employees during a pandemic and more importantly, how employees should be treated no matter the circumstances.

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