Small group of Amazon workers demonstrate outside SI facility over coronavirus concerns

By 1010 WINS

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A small group of employees at Amazon's Staten Island fulfillment center -- 15 people out of 5,000 workers -- demonstrated outside the site Monday, over concerns about contracting coronavirus.

The group of workers want Amazon to close the facility, known as JFK8, for two weeks after an employee tested positive for coronavirus last week.

An Amazon spokesperson responded to the small gathering, saying in a statement, "Of the more 5,000 employees at our Staten Island site, 15 people—less than half a percent of associates—participated in today’s demonstration. Our employees are heroes fighting for their communities and helping people get critical items they need in this crisis."

The statement continued, "Like all businesses grappling with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we are working hard to keep employees safe while serving communities and the most vulnerable. We have taken extreme measures to keep people safe, tripling down on deep cleaning, procuring safety supplies that are available, changing processes to ensure those in our buildings are keeping safe distances and in Staten Island we are now temperature checking everyone entering the facility. The truth is the vast majority of employees continue to show up and do the heroic work of delivering for customers every day."

The workers claim they are risking their health by working close together without being provided items such as masks or sanitizers to pack non-essential items.

“The majority of what I’ve been packing is not essential. Makeup brushes? Not essential," one packer told 1010 WINS. "You can wait. You’re not going out of your house, so what are you doing your makeup for?”

"They’re not supplying any masks, any latex gloves at all. None of that," another packer claimed to 1010 WINS. "They’re telling us, you need to get that from somewhere else. That’s unacceptable. This is a billion dollar company. You need to provide us with masks. You need to provide us with gloves.”