Amazon must protect workers and community from COVID-19

Jeff Bezos and the Board of Directors of Amazon

Amazon_warehouse_1

We are people who work in technology — developers, product managers, designers, security experts, documentation writers, and more — who are deeply concerned with your failure to protect Amazon warehouse workers and delivery drivers, and the broader community, from COVID-19.

At least eleven Amazon fulfillment centers and distribution centers have had workers test positive for COVID-19, yet Amazon has refused to explain their plans for dealing with facilities which are contaminated or suspected of being contaminated. Furthermore, because many workers are not offered paid leave, workers who are sick or who have been exposed to someone who is sick are incentivized to come to work, risking themselves, their coworkers, and the broader community. This is unacceptable.

We ask that Amazon meet the demands of warehouse workers and delivery drivers, listed here:

  • Close Amazon facilities at the first sight of contamination to protect public health and the health of the thousands of people who work in those facilities.
  • Make response plans public in advance so that everyone — workers, neighbors, sellers, customers, public officials, and others — can know what to expect.
  • Cover testing and health care for all workers who have possibly been exposed.
  • Ensure everyone working for Amazon has unlimited “time off task” to take care of their health (including hydrate sufficiently and go to the bathroom) and to wash their hands, as often as needed.
  • Ensure full paid leave for all workers whose jobs jobs are disrupted by closures.
  • Provide fully paid family leave for people who miss work because of school closures for their children or exposed, sick, or hospitalized family members.
  • Provide fully paid leave to every single person who works for Amazon, including during any quarantine period for workers with immediate family members who have shown symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Extend all the above the benefits to all people who work — direct or indirectly — for any Amazon property, subsidiary, contractor, or subcontractor, including Whole Foods, delivery service partners, Ring, campus food services, and facility cleaners.

Additionally, because the threat of deportation is scaring some immigrants from seeking testing and care they may need — and because border camps were already a threat to the health of those detained there — Amazon should end its contracts with Palantir and any other ICE contractors immediately.

And because Amazon’s dirty logistics infrastructure has polluted our air, likely contributing to extraordinarily high rates of asthma which increase our vulnerability to COVID-19, Amazon has a particular responsibility to funnel resources into testing, protections, and treatment around COVID-19. Amazon should work with local health departments to fund what’s needed now.

If these changes are not made, we pledge to:

  • Refuse all job offers from Amazon.
  • Respond to calls and emails recruiting us to work at Amazon by citing your treatment of warehouse workers and delivery drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason.
  • Request that any universities we are employed by or connected to refrain from having Amazon at their career fairs.
  • Request that any conferences or meetups that we organize refuse to accept Amazon as a sponsor.

In this time of crisis it is more important than ever to put the lives of our fellow workers and community members above the goal of making a profit. We’re all making changes to protect ourselves and our communities from COVID-19. Please, join us in doing so by implementing the measures outlined above.

Sponsored by

To: Jeff Bezos and the Board of Directors of Amazon
From: [Your Name]

​We are people who work in technology — developers, product managers, designers, security experts, documentation writers, and more — who are deeply concerned with your failure to protect Amazon warehouse workers and delivery drivers, and the broader community, from COVID-19.

At least eleven Amazon fulfillment centers and distribution centers have had workers test positive for COVID-19, yet Amazon has refused to explain their plans for dealing with facilities which are contaminated or suspected of being contaminated. Furthermore, because many workers are not offered paid leave, workers who are sick or who have been exposed to someone who is sick are incentivized to come to work, risking themselves, their coworkers, and the broader community. This is unacceptable.

We ask that Amazon meet the demands of warehouse workers and delivery drivers, listed here:

* Close Amazon facilities at the first sight of contamination to protect public health and the health of the thousands of people who work in those facilities.

* Make response plans public in advance so that everyone — workers, neighbors, sellers, customers, public officials, and others — can know what to expect.

* Cover testing and health care for all workers who have possibly been exposed.

* Ensure everyone working for Amazon has unlimited “time off task” to take care of their health (including hydrate sufficiently and go to the bathroom) and to wash their hands, as often as needed.

* Ensure full paid leave for all workers whose jobs jobs are disrupted by closures.

* Provide fully paid family leave for people who miss work because of school closures for their children or exposed, sick, or hospitalized family members.

* Provide fully paid leave to every single person who works for Amazon, including during any quarantine period for workers with immediate family members who have shown symptoms of coronavirus.

* Extend all the above the benefits to all people who work — direct or indirectly — for any Amazon property, subsidiary, contractor, or subcontractor, including Whole Foods, delivery service partners, Ring, campus food services, and facility cleaners.

Additionally, because the threat of deportation is scaring some immigrants from seeking testing and care they may need — and because border camps were already a threat to the health of those detained there — Amazon should end its contracts with Palantir and any other ICE contractors immediately.

And because Amazon’s dirty logistics infrastructure has polluted our air, likely contributing to extraordinarily high rates of asthma which increase our vulnerability to COVID-19, Amazon has a particular responsibility to funnel resources into testing, protections, and treatment around COVID-19. Amazon should work with local health departments to fund what’s needed now.

If these changes are not made, we pledge to:

* Refuse all job offers from Amazon.

* Respond to calls and emails recruiting us to work at Amazon by citing your treatment of warehouse workers and delivery drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason.

* Request that any universities we are employed by or connected to refrain from having Amazon at their career fairs.

* Request that any conferences or meetups that we organize refuse to accept Amazon as a sponsor.

In this time of crisis it is more important than ever to put the lives of our fellow workers and community members above the goal of making a profit. We’re all making changes to protect ourselves and our communities from COVID-19. Please, join us in doing so by implementing the measures outlined above.

Signed by,

Shauna Gordon-McKeon, freelance Python programmer
Grant Chinn, UX Designer at Georgetown University
Sara Waterfall, Tech Workers Coalition (DC)
Victor Serrano, Communication Workers of America
Samir Rahman
John Chadfield, Tech Workers Coalition (London)
Rebecca Rivers
Jack Poulson, Tech Inquiry
Matthew Hughes, EdX
Cindy Sui, DAGA
Nicole Huxtable, Bernie 2020
Julie Norris
Sharvin Lee
Sydney Ji
William Fitzgerald, formerly at Google
Shannon Turner
Joanna Ostroot
Deborah Nicholson
Britta Gustafson, technical writer
Shaun Carland
Larissa Shapiro
Taylor Harrison
Yonatan Miller, software developer and AWS user
Heidi Clair-Elfstrom
Eric Brenner
Fred Sparkman
Dana Tyler
Maggie Delano, Professor, Swarthmore College
Carlos Macias
Chris Cuellar
Joshua Gonzalez
Michael Nolan
Dana Cheshire
Martin Salgado
Anna Cooper
Lisa Lai
Timothy Zhu
Albert Carter
Mike Doyle
Hillary Larson, Digital Innovations
Malick Diarra
Stephon Harris, Software Developer
David Cairns
James Iversen
Andrew Carpenter
Linda Avendano
Angel Hernandez, Information security engineer
Rebeca Gallardo
Marie Collins, Google
Ann Fernandez
Mark Dudley, Software Engineer

and anonymously by 32 others

signatures last updated: Tuesday April 6, 2020, 6:00pm EDT

Comments:

"The richest man in the world can provide PPE for his employees."

"Please protect your workers. We cannot have a huge part of the economy treating people as if they are disposable. If you aren't able to do this because it's simply the right thing to do, please consider that during a pandemic our destinies are all inter-related. The life you are saving may turn out to have been your own."

"It is criminal to continue to profit knowing that workers lives are at risk. Do the right thing Jeff Bezos."