Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York, held another demonstration Monday to protest their working conditions during the new corona virus pandemic,media CNET reported. The protest was the second in two weeks at a warehouse called JFK8. Last week, the strike’s organiser, Christian Smalls, was fired on the same day as the last demonstration, and the site gained national attention. Amazon said he violated the company’s quarantine order while attending last week’s rally.
Amazon is under increasing pressure to deal with the new virus crisis, with elected officials, activists and Amazon employees calling for greater protection. Staten Island workers are among several groups of employees who have put pressure on Amazon to offer better pay, more paid leave and more health measures during the pandemic.
Last week, Amazon’s workers’ demonstrations took place in Chicago and Detroit, while warehouse workers in Queens, New York, pushed for change. Workers at Amazon’s Whole Foods supermarket held their own “collective sick leave” demonstration last week. The situation has become more intense as more and more confirmed cases of new coronavirus are found at Amazon facilities and more workers at the Staten Island warehouse have tested positive.
Amazon has talked about dozens of new health and safety agreements to protect the health and safety of its employees, including increasing cleaning and staggered opening hours to encourage social isolation. On Thursday, Amazon said it would soon begin conducting temperature checks at U.S. facilities and providing masks.
“Like all businesses, we are working to respond to the ongoing pandemic of the new coronavirus, and while serving the community and the most vulnerable, we are working to keep our employees safe.” “Amazon spokeswoman Rachael Lighty said in a statement Monday. “We have taken extreme steps to keep people safe, triple the amount of deep cleaning, procure available safety supplies, and change the process to ensure that those in our building maintain a safe distance.” “
According to an email sent by organizers Monday morning, the demonstrators called for the complete closure of the Staten Island warehouse, demanding “professional cleaning and sanitation, and that all employees affected by the closure be paid 100 percent if necessary.” “
Amazon said only 15 employees attended last week’s demonstration on Staten Island, compared with about 60, organizers said. About 5,000 people work in the warehouse. The series of demonstrations follows workers at the Staten Island plant trying to join a union in 2018.
The second strike is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. local time, and Amazon employees will join supporters from advocacy groups Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change and United for Respect.