Amazon workers strike to demand more protections

Employees of the American distribution platforms Amazon and Instacart went on strike Monday, March 30, in full containment in New York and San Francisco, accusing their employers of not protecting them enough against the new coronavirus.

Several dozen workers at Amazon’s New York warehouse on Staten Island, south of Manhattan, stopped work Monday at noon. They gathered in front of the Amazon warehouse, mask or scarf in front of their mouths for some, scattered in the parking lot, distant from each other, social distancing forces.

Under a gray sky, they held up their placards: "Our health is just essential", "Treat your employees like your customers". Or: "It's hard to close a business for 34 weeks. But it's even more difficult to close the coffin of someone you love forever !!! STAY HOME ".

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Charges "unfounded", according to the group

While the region, which has become the epicenter of the epidemic in the United States, is called for containment, these workers accuse the American giant of not taking the necessary measures to protect them.

"People tested positive work in this building and transmit (the virus) to hundreds of others ", indicates a Twitter account, called @Shut_downAmazon, and just created.

"These accusations are simply unfounded", Amazon responded in a statement sent to Agence France-Presse (AFP). "We have taken extreme measures to ensure the safety of people, by doing a thorough cleaning three times more often than usual, by purchasing the available safety equipment and by modifying the procedures in order to guarantee the safety distances", assures the group.

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"We also want to protect our customers"

Employees of the upscale chain of stores Whole Foods, which belongs to Amazon, called a strike Tuesday, demanding also increased security measures, as well as higher compensation.

For their part, buyer-deliverers of the Instacart platform, which allows them to order their races online, also stopped work on Monday. They are asking for more security and better financial conditions.

They will stop working until "All (their) requests (be) satisfied ", a spokesperson for the group told AFP "Gig Workers Collective". "It's not just about us, we also want to protect our customers. Workers are furious that Instacart is not even doing the bare minimum during this deadly pandemic ", she added.

The Covid-19 hit nearly 157,000 people in the United States on Monday and left more than 2,880 dead, according to Johns Hopkins University, the count of which refers.

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