A worker from Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse in New York has died from COVID-19, confirmed the firm. This comes after Amazon saw a mounting pressure from its employees who called for greater coronavirus safety measures.
The e-commerce major said that the employee who died was at the facility last on 5 April and received a positive COVID-19 test result on 11 April, and that the worker remained in quarantine post the confirmation.
Amazon also claimed that the employee has not been found to have spread the virus to any of the co-workers while at the site.
“Yesterday’s death of a worker at Amazon’s Staten Island facility is especially tragic. They need to know that their employer is providing them a safe work environment, but Amazon has failed to do that. The union goes on to call for Amazon to “immediately close the Staten Island, New York facility and disinfect it,” maintained the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) in a statement.
In a response to RWDSU’s statement, Lisa Levandowski said, “We expect to invest approximately US $ 4 billion from April to June on COVID-related initiatives to get products to customers and keep employees safe.” This will include more than US $ 800 million in the first half of the year on safety measures and will also invest in personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning of facilities as also higher wages for hourly teams and developing an in-house COVID-19 testing capabilities, etc.
Amazon has been delivering to consumers facing lockdowns and restrictions around the world and the company is also in the process of adding around 175,000 new employees to cater to the rise in orders.
The company is also facing protests from warehouse workers and activists who claim that the firm is not doing enough to keep its workers safe. A number of employees and activists also staged a protest outside the Staten Island warehouse last week.