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Fired for ‘breaking’ pandemic rules, ex-Amazon employee demand action

New York, April 7 (IANS) After being fired by Amazon for breaking COVID-19 pandemic rules at its New York warehouse last week, ex-employee Chris Smalls has returned, demanding the warehouse be closed down after employees were tested positive for new coronavirus.

“There are 10-plus cases in that building unknown to the public,” Smalls told FOX Business.

A coalition of labour unions, including the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) and Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) have called for Smalls’ “swift reinstatement” at Amazon.

The ecommerce giant, however, said they are supporting the individuals who are recovering.

“We are following guidelines from health officials and medical experts, and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site,” the company was quoted as saying.

RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement: “Amazon workers are speaking out across the globe because they need a real seat at the table in expressing their concerns”.

The firing of Smalls who organised a protest demanding more protection for workers amid the new coronavirus pandemic has not gone down well with the US Senators and the general public.

Small said in a statement that “Amazon would rather fire workers than face up to its total failure to do what it should to keep us, our families, and our communities safe”.

After being slammed by legislators, unions and employees about health safety across its workforce at warehouses amid the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon last week said that it is taking major steps to protect the workers.

Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations at Amazon, said the company will begin taking employees’ temperatures when they report for work and supply them with face masks.



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