An Amazon warehouse worker in Indianapolis, Indiana, has died of COVID-19, the company confirmed.
According to theverge, “The death brings the known total of COVID-19 deaths at Amazon warehouses to seven, but Amazon’s process for notifying workers makes the true number difficult to determine. Several workers at IND8 first learned of the death through rumors and say management began informing employees more widely only after being confronted.”
“They weren’t going to say anything if it wasn’t for people asking questions,” says a worker at IND8, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution.
Amazon has repeatedly declined to say how many warehouse employees have been diagnosed with or died from the virus. In an interview on “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, Amazon senior vice president of worldwide operations Dave Clark called statistics on infections “not a particularly useful number.” On Tuesday, 13 state attorneys general wrote to Amazon requesting data on the number of workers who had contracted or died of COVID-19
Amazon is under mounting pressure to disclose the number of coronavirus cases and deaths among its employees as politicians and activists call for more comprehensive safety measures inside warehouses.
The company has repeatedly refused to provide that data, leading employees to keep informal tallies that put the case number around 900.
Amazon has adopted a range of new policies in response to the pandemic, including temperature screening of employees at all facilities, increased pay, and expanded time off. But the company is sunsetting the pay increases and unlimited unpaid time off policy that it initially implemented for its essential workforce.