Amazon Worker Claims At Least 600 Employees Struck By COVID-19, Six Dead

In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes Overtime, Amazon Inc. AMZN warehouse worker Jana Jumpp, revealed the extent of COVID-19 infections and deaths at the online retailer.

What Happened

The Amazon employee has been tracking COVID-19 positive cases from her home throughout the United States by connecting with her coworkers. Her modus operandi involves collecting automated text messages and robocalls that Amazon sends to employees when a worker tests positive at its facilities.

Talking with CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl on Sunday, Jumpp expressed her apprehension about standing up to the e-commerce giant, saying, “I think I might get fired.” Jumpp claimed, “You’re not supposed to speak out against Amazon. That’s a big no-no.”

Jumpp works at an Indiana Amazon warehouse and has been staying-at-home due to the pandemic. She has worked for the retailer for more than four years.

According to Jumpp, “I can tell you right now, and the number is higher than this, but we have at least 600 [cases].” She laid claim that at least six workers have passed away due to COVID-19.

Refusing to confirm the employee’s count, Amazon’s head of operations Dave Clark told CBS, “The actual…total number of cases isn't particularly useful because it's relative to the size of the building and then the overall community infection rate.”

Why It Matters

Amazon is the second-largest private employer in the United States and announced it would hire 175,000 additional employees to deal with increased demand for its services amidst the pandemic, reported CBS.

Clark told the television network that Amazon had invested 800 million dollars in protecting its workers during the pandemic and installed 150 safety measures at its facilities such as temperature checks, mandatory masks, and fumigation.

In March, Amazon fired Chris Smalls, a warehouse employee who had organized a walkout at one of the online retailer’s New York warehouses. This led to Bezos being questioned by five Democratic senators.

Amazon has gained massively through the pandemic, with overall revenue shooting up to $75.4 billion in its first quarter, higher by 26% compared with the same time last year. 

Bezos’s own wealth rose by $13 billion as the company’s shares hit new highs in January after the company reported its Q4 results, all in a span of 15 minutes. The Amazon chief executive has added $308 billion to his wealth during the pandemic.

Price Action

On Friday, Amazon shares closed 0.51% higher at $2,379.61.

Posted In: CBSCovid-19Jeff BezosNewsLegalManagementTech

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