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The news reflects the operational risks facing the world’s largest online retailer if more workers contract COVID-19
About 15 workers, according to Amazon, staged a demonstration at one of its warehouses near Detroit, another U.S. protest this week over staff concerns about contracting the novel coronavirus on the job.
They demand that Amazon shut down the Romulus, Michigan fulfillment center for additional cleaning and cover all medical bills for associates and their family members who contracted the virus from the site, according to a Facebook live stream of the demonstration.
That followed confirmation that a worker from that location had tested positive for the virus, Amazon said.
“I feel it’s going to take someone to die for them to finally take action,” protest co-organizer Mario Crippen, 26, said.
Earlier this week, 15 employees at an Amazon fulfillment center in Staten Island, New York, joined a walkout, and dozens more went on strike at a company facility near Florence, Italy.
Amazon fired the organizer of the New York walkout, pretexting he allegedly put others at risk by violating a company request to stay at home for two weeks. The dismissal prompted the city to open an investigation. The organizer had had close contact with a person who had tested positive for COVID-19.
Amazon claims it has taken measures to protect workers, “tripling down on deep cleaning, procuring safety supplies that are available and changing processes to ensure those in our buildings are keeping safe distances.”