(NEW YORK, NY) – Yesterday, a worker at Amazon’s JFK8 facility in Staten Island, New York died of COVID-19. Amazon warehouse workers across the country have been protesting since March the company’s lack of safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) issued the following statement:
“Yesterday’s death of a worker at Amazon’s Staten Island facility is especially tragic. Nobody should have to put their life at risk when they go to work. They need to know that their employer is providing them a safe work environment - but Amazon has failed to do that.
“For a long time now, workers at JFK8 and other Amazon facilities around the world have been demanding safer working conditions - especially during this pandemic. Yesterday’s death unfortunately has shown the true cost of Amazon’s failure to provide a safe work environment.
“Amazon must immediately close the Staten Island, New York facility and disinfect it. What the company claims it is doing is obviously not working. In order to protect its employees, there must be independent monitoring in all Amazon facilities, and not just empty promises. We cannot afford any further loss of life at Amazon facilities anywhere.”