Amazon workers at Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse go on strike to demand the closure and cleanup of the facility after an employee tested positive for coronavirus on March 30, 2020 in New York.
Angela Weiss | AFP | beautiful images
A federal judge on Monday dismissed the Amazon lawsuit alleging that the company failed to stop the spread of coronavirus by creating unsafe working conditions and, instead, turning it over to the Bureau. Occupational Health and Safety Management.
Four employees at Amazon̵7;s Staten Island, New York, fulfillment center filed a complaint in June. The lawsuit, filed with the Eastern District Court of New York, US, accuses Amazon of violating workplace safety laws and public nuisance by engaging in “intentional misinformation. labor “and prioritize productivity at safe costs.
Amazon warehouse workers have frequently criticized the company’s response to the pandemic over the past few months, saying they have been unable to adequately protect them from the coronavirus. Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos have denied these allegations, saying the company has gone “a long time” to protect its employees.
JFK8 workers claim Amazon has failed to comply with public health guidelines on coronavirus, putting them and their family members at risk. Barbara Chandler, one of the workers who filed the lawsuit, was one of the first confirmed cases at JFK8, according to the lawsuit. Chandler’s cousin, whom she lived with, died in April after suffering from symptoms of the coronavirus, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit also alleges that Amazon violated New York labor law by failing to provide “timely” coronavirus payments and violating its obligation to maintain a safe workplace.
Judge Brian Cogan dismissed the employee’s requests, turning to OSHA in response to a worker request for an order requiring Amazon to adhere to public health standards.
“Without a doubt, the complete shutdown of JFK8 while the pandemic continues to provide employee salaries and benefits will be the best defense against local infection,” Cogan wrote in his statement. work. “But someone has to strike a balance between maintaining some level of activity combined with some safeguards.”
Cogan said the worker requirements and order requirements “go to the heart of OSHA’s expertise and decision”.
Amazon has confirmed that it follows the public health guidelines for coronavirus and provides employees with full personal protective equipment.
“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our employees,” Amazon spokeswoman Lisa Levandowski, told CNBC in a statement.
Advocacy groups including Towards Justice, Justice and Make the Road New York, who jointly filed labor lawsuits, called the court’s decision “devastating” for Amazon employees and said that they are considering appealing. It’s not clear if JFK8 employees plan to file an OSHA complaint.
This decision “frees Amazon to continue discouraging workers from spending enough time washing their hands at workstations, not paying in time for quarantine breaks under certain state laws, undergoing ‘ ‘contact tracking’ does not cover the most basic of steps in employee contact tracking and continue to not clearly inform workers about what they should do if they start experiencing symptoms or believe they have been exposed, “the groups added.
From the outset of the pandemic, Amazon’s Staten Island facility has become the link between the growing tension between the company and its warehouse staff. JFK8 workers held a rally in March to demand that the facility be closed for further cleanup. Amazon then garnered public scrutiny after firing Chris Smalls, the main organizer of the strike, for violating the rules of social distancing.
Last month, Amazon revealed that nearly 20,000 frontline employees had signed a contract with Covid-19 between 1 March and 19 September. The company said its employee infection rate was 42 percent lower than expected. ants, compared with the general population in the US