Amazon said on Thursday that more than 19,000 frontline US workers have contracted the coronavirus this year, accounting for 1.44% of the total. This is a disclosure sought by labor advocates who have criticized the world’s largest online retailer for their response to COVID-19. In recent months, some employees, elected officials and unions have stated that Amazon has kept warehouses open during the pandemic, putting employees’ health at risk. Amazon said that considering the spread of the virus in the general population, its infection rate is 42% lower than expected.

Amazon encouraged other companies to report comparable data in a blog post. Microsoft said it will expand its daily virus testing to 50,000 US employees by November through internal capacity building.

Amazon’s disclosures rarely reveal the impact of this disease on major American employers. Amazon has been opening up facilities to meet the surge in demand from shoppers stranded at home, adding temperature checks, social distancing software and other safety procedures.

Athena, the union of labor and activists, called on officials to investigate Amazon and requested the company to report more regularly based on the news. The director of the alliance, Dania Rajendra, said in a statement: “Amazon allows COVID-19 to spread like wildfire.”

Amazon said that of its 1,372,000 front-line employees at Amazon and its Whole Foods Market subsidiary, 19,816 tested positive or were presumed to have COVID-19 between March 1 and September 19. This figure includes seasonal employees and employees who may be infected externally. it says.

In contrast, if you count the age and geographic location of employees, if Amazon’s ratio is equal to that of the general population, there are 33,952 cases of infection with the virus.

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Minnesota has the highest infection rate, with nearly 32 infections per 1,000 workers, compared with nearly 16 among the public. Amazon confronted a labor organization there. It did not comment on specific exchange rates.

Amazon said in a blog post: “If you compare similar data provided by other major employers, this information will be more powerful.” He added that it hopes that these figures will “make decisions to reopen public facilities in each state and employers consider doing Proved to be useful when making a decision.” Whether and how to get people to work again. “

© Thomson Reuters 2020


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