While the majority of Americans follow indefinite orders to work from home or learn that they’re newly unemployed, hundreds of thousands of Amazon workers are going into its 175 fulfillment centers to meet unprecedented demand. In an effort to keep workers safe, Amazon now does temperature checks, gives out masks, and says it’s taken “intense measures” to ensure workers stay six feet apart.
“I absolutely feel safe coming to the building every day. I would not be here if I didn’t,” said Adrian Melendez, the general manager of an Amazon fulfillment center in New Haven, Connecticut.
But some workers are protesting because they say Amazon isn’t doing enough to keep them safe. This week, workers from warehouses around the country didn’t show up to work, staging the “mass call out” to call for the immediate closure of the more than 50 warehouses with positive cases, among other things.
“I have to do this. I can’t not pay my bills and live my life. But then it was just knowing that I can possibly contract Covid-19 while at work and either become ill or even possibly die from it,” said Tonya Ramsay, a shipping dock worker for an Amazon warehouse in Romulus, Michigan.
Meanwhile, Amazon has fired at least six employees who have spoken up against working conditions since the pandemic began, citing a variety of reasons, from vulgar language to breaking social distancing protocols.
Watch the video to hear from Amazon workers around the country about what it’s really like to work inside an Amazon warehouse right now, and what Amazon’s doing to protect them while managing to keep the vast majority of its warehouses open for business.