Amazon employees don’t feel that the company is doing enough to keep them safe from coronavirus


Many of Amazon’s warehouse workers feel uneasy about the lack of safety precautions taken by the company to lessen the threat of coronavirus.

During the current quarantine process, many stores are closed and people are  reluctant to visit the ones that are open. Those brick-and-mortar stores’ loss in Amazon’s gain. Even more so than in the past, people are turning to online shopping from everything from clothing to food.

Amazon has begun delivering groceries from Whole Foods, so the once necessary trip to the grocery store can now be replaced via the internet. While this is very innovative and useful, it still takes a person to do the grocery shopping and it takes a person to make the delivery.

Amazon employees have been hard at work providing everything one might need in a short amount of time. The Amazon employees, like so many employees in the necessary service industries, put themselves at risk every day.  With these necessary service businesses running at an almost normal scale, the employees have to decide between staying home to stay as safe as possible or the paycheck they need to pay their bills and put food on their own tables.

Especially at the beginning of the quarantine when local stores began running short of products, Amazon became the go-to option for many Americans seeking essentials such as food, toilet paper, face masks, and hand sanitizer. The demand for such supplies became so high that even Amazon shoppers were and still are experiencing up to six weeks delay in delivery. 

Hand sanitizer is still in high demand and there are limits on how much of it a person can order on Amazon. To meet the demands, Amazon warehouse workers and delivery drivers have been very brave as they continue to go to work during this crisis, but the Amazon workers are having a hard time with their jobs. 

“A dozen Amazon workers told CNBC that they’re terrified to go to work during the pandemic, while others have expressed frustration over how their employer has responded to the threat of the coronavirus at their workplaces,” says Annie Palmer of CNBC. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has called his employees “heroes fighting for their communities,’” Palmer states. 

Still, many of Bezos’ “heroes” don’t feel comfortable coming to work as they feel that Amazon has not been doing enough to provide a safe work environment during the pandemic. “Amazon employees said there’s an overwhelming sense that they’re responsible for their own safety at work,” Palmer claims. 

Amazon’s facilities  are busier than ever, keeping workers in close quarters in the warehouses. “At some warehouses, sanitation supplies are scarce or nowhere to be found, while some employees come to work sick,” Palmer claims. Workers may not have masks or even hand sanitizer dispensers in their workspace to keep them from spreading the virus and catching it. 

Amazon workers have reported that when their concerns with management, the discussion quickly gets shut down with admonishments that they should feel thankful that they even have a job during these economic uncertainties. 

The unstated risk is that with Amazon’s sometimes same-day delivery and the fact that the virus can live on an inanimate object for up to and beyond three days , the virus could be spread from Amazon employees working in less than ideal conditions to the customers via delivery. As a result, the lack of proper sanitation measures at various Amazon facilities could actually be contributing to the spread of the virus.