Amazon is facing its second labor strike at a Staten Island warehouse where workers fear more than two dozen people have come down with COVID-19, according to labor groups who issued an advisory about the noon action.
Workers at the Bloomfield distribution center, called JFK8, are walking off the job at 12 p.m. on Monday amid complaints that more than 25 warehouse staffers have tested positive for the virus, based on daily text messages they receive from Amazon. They are demanding the Seattle tech giant company close the facility for sanitization and provide full pay for employees during that time.
Amazon does not provide unpaid time off for hourly workers who feel symptoms or may have sick people at home.
It’s the second time the SI warehouse staffers have walked off the job in protest of Amazon’s handling of the coronavirus. On March 30, dozens of employees held a rally spearheaded by management assistant Christopher Smalls — who was later fired by Amazon.
At the time, fewer than 10 warehouse workers reportedly had the virus, but the number has since increased to more than 25, according to Jason Schwartz, a spokesman for Athena, one of the worker advocacy groups involved in the strike.
“Workers are asking for a cohesive plan that protects them and the health of the public,” according to the advisory.
Amazon warehouse workers in Chicago and Detroit also held rallies and work stoppages in recent weeks over COVID-19 safety concerns.
In NYC, some 40 elected officials, including Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Comptroller Scott Stringer and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, fired off a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on April 1, calling for Smalls’ rehiring and for Amazon to implement COVID-19 safety protocols and paid leave.