WASHINGTON, April 9 (Afp) – Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made a surprise visit to an Amazon warehouse near Dallas on Wednesday, one of more than 100 sites across the United States,media reported. In these warehouses, employees are struggling to cope with a surge in online orders.
The world’s richest man, wearing a mask, jeans and a button-down shirt, was pictured in person at the warehouse circulating on social media. Some masked warehouse workers spent a little time taking pictures with their boss.
Others wrote on social media that Bezos had failed to comply with social distance guidelines designed to limit the spread of the new coronavirus. In one picture, he follows a man closely behind him.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the photos. Bezos was in the Dallas area on Wednesday, according to an anonymous source.
Mr Bezos has kept a fairly low profile in the crisis compared to other tech CEOs such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Apple’s Tim Cook. On Wednesday, Bezos posted an MSNBC video on his Instagram account calling an Amazon warehouse worker a “hero of the day.” More recently, he announced a $100 million donation to help Americans meet their food needs. At the same time, donations from restaurants and other failed businesses are dwindling.
Amazon has become an indispensable service during the new coronavirus pandemic. To avoid going to a crowded store in person, customers can order essentials online. But retailers now take weeks to deliver items, and many essential products, including toilet paper and hand sanitizer, are out of stock. Amazon announced in March that it plans to hire 100,000 people and offer temporary pay rises to meet soaring demand.
Amazon employees across the United States have staged protests and strikes to highlight their concerns about existing working conditions. Problems include a lack of social distance, protective equipment, hand sanitizer, and inadequate time for employees to wash their hands.
Amazon has said it will implement social distance guidelines in factories and warehouses, check employees’ temperatures at the start of shifts, and step up cleaning. Amazon stresses that all factories are equipped with enough masks and hand sanitizer swashes to wash their hands without compromising productivity. Amazon also said only a handful of workers took part in the protests. (Ei)