Amazon Workers Plan Staten Island Strike to Demand COVID-19 Protections Employees at New York's JFK8 facility are set to 'cease all operations' in an effort to pressure Amazon into closing the warehouse and offering paid time off.

By Stephanie Mlot

entrepreneur daily

This story originally appeared on PC Mag

via PC Mag

Amazon warehouse staff in Staten Island plan to walk out of work this morning to protest the lack of COVID-19 protections for employees still plugging away during the outbreak.

Personnel at the facility—where someone recently tested positive for the virus—will "cease all operations" until their demands are heard, management assistant and lead strike organizer Chris Smalls told CNBC.

In a statement to the news site, Amazon said it is "supporting the individual in quarantine" and asked that anyone in contact with them stay home with pay for two weeks. The facility, known as JFK8, remains open. "We are following all guidelines from local health officials and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site," a company spokesperson said.

But a declaration from on high isn't enough for those folks on the ground. Smalls hopes to pressure Amazon into closing the 855,000-square-foot facility for cleaning while offering all 4,500 employees paid time off. "Since the building won't close by itself, we're going to have to force [Amazon's] hand," Smalls said. "We will not return until the building gets sanitized."

"These accusations are simply unfounded. Our employees are heroes fighting for their communities and helping people get critical items they need in this crisis," Amazon told PCMag in an emailed statement. "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 [are] 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."

Amazon recently implemented daily temperature screenings at its Staten Island location, and has been consulting with health authorities and medical experts on how to handle building closures for deep cleaning. At least 13 facilities have reported cases of coronavirus. Smalls—who previously disclosed to management poor warehouse conditions and a lack of essential supplies—is currently on a 14-day self-quarantine (with full pay for two weeks) after coming in contact with the supervisor who tested positive.

Stephanie Mlot

Reporter at PCMag

Stephanie began as a PCMag reporter in May 2012. She moved to New York City from Frederick, Md., where she worked for four years as a multimedia reporter at the second-largest daily newspaper in Maryland. She interned at Baltimore magazine and graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (in the town of Indiana, in the state of Pennsylvania) with a degree in journalism and mass communications.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Science & Technology

The 'Mother of All Breaches' Just Happened — Here's the Security Implications for Businesses

If your business exists online, chances are some percent of your customers' data got leaked in what cybersecurity specialists boldly labeled as the "mother of all breaches" (MOAB).

Side Hustle

Getting Laid Off Allowed Him to Focus on His Sentimental Side Hustle. Now He's on Track to Earn Over $700,000 in 2024.

Alaa El Ghatit wasn't fulfilled at his day job. So he started LifeOnRecord to help people record memories and well wishes.

Business News

The Owner of a Popular Boston Restaurant Is Under Fire After Direct Messaging, Berating a Customer Who Disputed $250 Cancelation Fee

New York-based traveler Trevor Chauvin-DeCaro was set to dine at Table in Boston's North End last month.

Marketing

Navigating the Diverse Marketing Landscape of Black America — How to Foster Authentic Engagement, Loyalty and Respect

The importance of cultural specificity and how brands can authentically engage with the broader Black community.

Business News

Klarna Says Its AI Assistant Does the Work of 700 People. The Company Laid Off the Same Number of Employees 2 Years Ago.

The AI bot has taken on 75% of Klarna's customer service chats, or about 2.3 million conversations, within a month of launch.