Amazon will start taking workers’ temperatures and provide face masks

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Amazon fulfillment center warehouse.

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Amazon is taking greater steps to protect warehouse workers following weeks of public outcry. 

In a blog post on Thursday, Dave Clark, who runs Amazon’s retail operations, said the company will start taking employees’ temperatures when they report to work and supply them with face masks. 

Temperature checks began last Sunday at select sites in the U.S. and will now begin to roll out to Amazon’s entire operations network and footprint of Whole Foods Stores in the U.S. and Europe by early next week, Clark said. Anyone who registers a fever over 100.4 will be told to go home and will only be allowed to return after they’ve gone three days without a fever, he added. 

Amazon is making face masks available for warehouse workers “as soon as today in some locations” and in all facilities by early next week, Clark said. 

The move comes after Amazon faced criticism from legislators, union leaders and warehouse workers about a lack of protective measures for employees who continue to come to work amid the coronavirus outbreak. On Wednesday, workers at a Romulus, Michigan facility walked out, while workers at a Staten Island, New York facility staged a protest on Monday. 

Amazon employees at multiple facilities who spoke to CNBC argued that the company’s efforts aren’t enough to keep them safe. They say uneven safety precautions at facilities across the country have sown feelings of distrust between workers and their managers. Workers say they’ve become worried that managers aren’t being honest about whether employees are sick with the virus, so that they can keep the facilities open. 

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