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Amazon Calls Cops On Lawmakers After Inviting Them To Probe Warehouse Safety

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Amazon Calls Cops On Lawmakers After Inviting Them To Probe Warehouse Safety

Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) called the police on two Democratic Congresswomen visiting its warehouse in Romulus, Michigan last week — after extending them an invitation to visit such a facility, the lawmakers said.

What Happened: Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) said they were asked to wait 90 minutes before being let inside to tour the Amazon facility, as the workers inside were made to clean, Bloomberg reported Monday.

On Monday, Tlaib tweeted a video of their visit, which showed workers at the warehouse cleaning. It also included footage of the police arriving at the scene after being called by Amazon employees. 

In response to the police being called, Tlaib said, “If Amazon is willing to call the police on congresswomen it invited to tour its facility, we can only imagine the harassment and intimidation Amazon workers have faced for speaking out,” as per Bloomberg.

The congresswoman alleged that she found “employee screening is poorly executed, cleaning is insufficient and social distancing is often difficult or impossible.”

An Amazon spokesperson dubbed the police being called as “an unfortunate misunderstanding," because one of the night shift security guards wasn't expecting external visitors or aware of the lawmakers' identity.

The two congresswomen also released a statement, saying, they had taken Amazon up on its invitation to visit and that the e-commerce giant was aware of the “the identities of their guests.”

“I feel fortunate and proud to be a part of a company that's prioritizing the health and safety of its million-strong workforce, and creating new jobs. Michigan's success, it's personal,” wrote Amazon's Vice President of Global Human Resources, Ofori Agboka, in a blog on the conditions prevailing at the Michigan warehouse.

Why It Matters: Amazon warehouses have come under scrutiny during the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, a worker alleged six warehouse employees had died due to COVID-19.

A lawsuit was filed in June alleging unsafe working conditions, after a New York warehouse worker fatally infected a cousin with COVID-19. 

Price Action: Amazon shares closed nearly 0.2% higher at $2,960.47 on Monday and gained almost 0.7% in the after-hours session.

 

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