Amazon’s JFK8 distribution centre in Staten Island (New York), U.S. November 25, 2020.
Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters
Letitia James is the New York Attorney General is seekingA court emergency order can be issued AmazonTo implement more stringent Covid-19 protocols. The company’s decision not to install safety precautions in all its warehouses puts employees at greater risk for the coronavirus.
James applied for the relief motion on Tuesday in a lawsuit she filed earlier this yearAccording to the report, Amazon claimed the giant online retailer placed profit above worker safety at New York’s facilities. They also retaliated against workers who expressed concerns during the pandemic.
James asked the court for a warrant to appoint an inspector to ensure worker safety in Amazon’s New York facility. James also requests a court order requiring Amazon to rehire Chris Smalls. an employee who was firedAfter speaking out regarding working conditions, last March
“The State seeks injunctive relief now because Amazon is rolling back already inadequate public healthcare measures, acting as though the pandemic has ended, when there is an increasing risk of viral transmission and a new variant threatening to cause more illness and death,” states the motion.
The filing states that Amazon has rescinded protections and hired more employees to meet its holiday rush, even as case rates and hospitalizations rise.
CNBC’s Kelly Nantel spoke on behalf of Amazon, saying that “It is disappointing that [the Attorney General] seeks to politicize this pandemic by asking emergency’ relief immediately despite having filed the suit nine months ago.” We’re working hard every day for our team, and the facts are that we moved fast from the onset of the pandemic, listened to and learned from the experts, and have taken a comprehensive approach to COVID-19 safety — incurring more than $15B in costs to support our employees and customers.”
Amazon declined to answer questions regarding whether its warehouses have been subjected to the coronavirus. Amazon had earlier this month announced that it would be removing coronavirus safety measures from its warehouses. saidIt wouldn’t be required that fully vaccinated U.S. Warehouse employees wear masks to work, unless it is mandated by state law.
One federal judge will be appointed October 1. rejectedAmazon wants James’ suit torn.
Amazon, and many other large corporations that employ front-line workers continuously modify safety procedures as the coronavirus epidemic has raged. As cases declined and vaccines were made available, companies eased safety protocols like wearing a mask. But, policies that had been in place later became obsolete as the deadly delta variant spread.
Public health officers have been busy in recent weeks have issued warningsThe new Covid variant Omicron is a highly mutated coronavirus strain that was discovered in South Africa only two weeks ago. Global markets were shaken by the discovery of this variant, which prompted some new restrictions on travel in certain countries.
According to the motion, Amazon started to remove coronavirus safety precautions over the summer.
According to the filing Amazon informed employees on July 7, that it would be returning to its pre-pandemic methods. According to the filing, Amazon has removed some of its coronavirus safety precautions that it had implemented at the outbreak, including temperature screenings and social distancing enforcement.
The filing says that other methods to reduce crowding such as restricting the size of breakrooms and calling off “stand-up”, meetings at the beginning of shifts have since been dropped.
James’s office provided affidavits by Derrick Palmer, Tristian Martinez and Amazon Warehouse workers at Staten Island. These affidavits detailed reduced Covid safety precautions and an edited photo of a standing-up gathering at Staten Island facility JFK8.
According to Palmer’s affidavit, “Amazon doesn’t have a mandate for all workers to be vaccinated.” “I have contact with hundreds upon hundreds of workers at JFK8 every day. I don’t know who’s vaccinated.”
Palmer states that Amazon informed employees on July 30, it would be ending the onsite Covid-19 testing program.
Amazon’s response in the face of the coronavirus pandemic was criticized warehouse workers, politicians and state attorneys general. They argue Amazon moved too slowly in its efforts to provide personal protective equipment, temperature checksAnd other tools to keep employees safe. The company and its founder Jeff Bezos have pushed back on these accusations, saying Amazon has gone to “great lengths” to protect workers from the coronavirus.