Amazon employees on Staten Island are demanding the company temporarily close the facility for a deep cleaning after a colleague tested positive for the novel coronavirus last week.
Employees are accusing the retail giant of mismanaging the COVID-19 pandemic and scheduled a walkout for 12:30 p.m. on Monday in protest.
Christian Smalls, a process assistant leading the walkout, tells CNN that between five and seven of his fellow employees have tested positive for the virus. But he says the company has only publicly acknowledged one case.
An Amazon spokesperson replied that health and safety of employees and customers is the company's top priority and workers are screened daily for symptoms of the pandemic-causing virus.
"We believe direct communication is the best avenue to discuss feedback, and our teams onsite are speaking directly with employees each day to hear their questions and discuss options that are available in this ever changing environment," the spokesperson said.
Smalls says appeal to his general manager have been to no avail. He expected the walkout to involved between 50 and 200 workers. He fears such facilities are "breeding grounds for this pandemic."
"That plan it to cease all operations until the building is closed and sanitized," he said. "We're not asking for much. We're asking the building to be closed and sanitized, and for us to be paid [during that process]."
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