A total of 10 employees at an Amazon warehouse tested positive for coronavirus after a union warned that an “infection stick” could arise.
The outbreak was confirmed at the company’s Coventry site after the company’s Prime Day, which sees customers enjoy huge discounts on products.
The global company ran its own testing at its Lyons Park facility in Coventry, and the 10 employees, all of whom were asymptomatic, are now self-isolating, reports CoventryLive.
But the GMB Union criticized Amazon’s Prime Day sale, claiming the company had “compromised and ignored the rules of social distancing”
Amanda Gearing, Senior GMB Organizer, said, “If Amazon is not to be responsible for the further spread of this deadly virus, it must stop flooding facilities with agency workers to maximize profits, enforce social distancing rules and send someone home. ” full pay who can be infected until either the 14 days are up or they test negative. “
One of the measures in place at the Coventry depot is that anyone entering the construction site – whether employees or visitors – has their temperature checked upon arrival.
An Amazon spokesperson said, “Security is a top priority at Amazon and we make sure security is paramount on Prime Day, just like every day of our business.
“Since March, we’ve made an additional 150 key process changes, including providing masks and additional cleaning, to keep our teams safe and healthy.
“We have already spent more than $ 800 million (£ 620 million) on Covid-19 safety measures, with investments in personal protective equipment (PPE), improved cleaning of our facilities, new process pathways that enable effective social distancing, and development our own Covid-19 test functions.
“We strongly believe that if everyone, including people with no symptoms, could be tested regularly, it would make a huge difference in how we all fight this virus.
“As a next step in the UK, we have started a pilot project in several locations to test employees on a voluntary basis, and we’ve received positive feedback from participating employees.
“We have also built our own laboratory in Manchester which provides additional testing capacity on top of what the government already has. We don’t yet know exactly how it will play out, but we still believe it is worth trying. “
“These are the actions of a company that takes responsibility for the safety of its employees.”
This year’s Prime Day sale lasted 48 hours but was criticized by UK campaign group Ethical Consumer, which urged buyers to shop on the spot.
Tim Hunt, Director, Ethical Consumer, said, “Aside from tax avoidance, Amazon has a dubious track record on many issues, including labor rights and the environment. We urge consumers to consider making this purchase on Amazon Prime need day and instead, how they can use their money so that it benefits society and the environment.
“There are a number of more ethical brands that pay fairer taxes, including Richer Sounds and Lush Cosmetics (both have been awarded the Fair Tax Mark). We encourage those consumers who need to make purchases to look for them.” more ethical companies like this one. “
However, an Amazon spokesperson said this year’s Prime Day would see its “biggest small business event ever.”
He said: “We are investing heavily in job creation and infrastructure across the UK – more than £ 23 billion since 2010. The UK has now become one of the world’s largest hubs for talent on Amazon. This year we announced plans to create 10,000 new jobs in the UK by the end of 2020, our total workforce to over 40,000.
“These continued investments contributed to a total tax contribution of £ 1.1 billion in 2019 – £ 293 million in direct taxes and £ 854 million in indirect taxes.”