An Amazon warehouse employee in northeastern Illinois has died of coronavirus, the company has confirmed.
The employee, who worked at the Waukegan, Illinois, Amazon warehouse, known as MDW8, died of the virus on April 18. The worker, who was 50 years old, left behind a wife and seven children. The clerk worked the night shift as a selector, which includes selecting items from the installation shelves and preparing them for shipping, among other tasks.
"We are saddened by the loss of a colleague in Waukegan, Illinois," Amazon spokeswoman Lisa Levandowski told CNBC. "His family and loved ones are in our thoughts and we support his colleagues."
The death of the employee comes as Amazon warehouse employees have expressed concern that the company is not doing enough to protect them from getting stuck in the corona while they are at work. Employees have also criticized Amazon's handling of people who tested positive for the virus and worked on its facilities, with some arguing that it should close these warehouses and do more to make sure employees are informed.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. The worker was last seen at the facility on March 19, so he had no symptoms, Amazon said. The company was informed that the employee is positive for the corona on March 24.
Amazon declined to comment on how many warehouse employees have died of coronavirus nationwide. The death of an Illinois employee marks the fourth known case of an Amazon employee who died of the virus, according to reports. of deaths on Staten Island, New York.
The company has not published the total number of employees who are positive for the virus and work at its facilities. As a result, Amazon employees have tried to maintain an unofficial number of confirmed and unconfirmed cases nationwide, with a employee Reddit estimates that at least 400 workers have been infected with coronavirus. The United for Respect Task Force has created a tracking map that comes from a number that shows the number of positive cases on Amazon's facilities on USA. Amazon holds 175 warehouses across the country and some warehouses have reported dozens of cases.
Tensions are rising between Amazon and warehouse workers nationwide, as the number of confirmed cases and deaths in facilities increased. Warehouse workers have asked the company to implement more protection and safety techniques, including the payment of sick leave and the closure of facilities where there are positive cases for additional cleaning.
Amazon has said in the past that it has made great efforts to keep the facility clean and to ensure that workers follow the necessary precautions, such as washing their hands, using hand sanitizers and practicing at social distances. He also began to thermometer the employees as soon as they arrived at work and to supply them with face masks. In the last report profits Amazon has said it will invest the expected $ 4 billion in second-quarter earnings in tries related to coronary heart disease, such as the purchase of additional safety tools for employees and the development of tests for coronavirus, among others.
However, Amazon employees continue to argue that the company it doesn't do enough to protect them. Workers have staged at least three strikes at local warehouses and staged nationwide strikes to demand more safety against the virus.
Amazon employees told CNBC that they have become paranoid that managers are not honest about whether employees are sick with the virus. In addition, when there are confirmed incidents or deaths on their premises, the Employees they say Amazon doesn't alert them fast enough.
Amazon said it had notified MDW8 employees of the employee's death without delay and also extended its support to his family.
The company's process of notifying workers of death in an installation is inherently slower than the process of announcing a confirmed case. Amazon said it was notifying employees via text message phone when there are positive cases in an installation. When an employee dies, the company gradually gathers employees in small groups to inform them. Amazon is notifying employees of the death of a colleague in person, not by phone, in an effort to reduce fear so that managers can inform employees of counseling services if they need additional support.
Because of the corano, Amazon has made staggered changes to its facilities to prevent overcrowding, which means some employees may learn about a death in installation before others, Amazon said. This is likely to cause confusion among employees who hear of a death from a colleague before receiving the official announcement from the company.
An MDW8 employee disputed Amazon's comment that all employees at the facility had been informed of the person's death.
The official said he had spoken to colleagues at his facility who, as of Tuesday, were unaware that a person had died of the virus in MDW8. Instead of informing the entire building, a manager at their facility informed only the employees who were on the same shift as the person, the employee said.