You are here: Home » Current Affairs » Coronavirus » News
Business Standard

Amazon reports over 19,000, or 1.44%, of US frontline employees had Covid

Some staff, elected officials and unions in recent months have said Amazon put employees' health at risk by keeping warehouses open during the pandemic

Topics
Amazon | Coronavirus

Reuters 

e-commerce, online, digital, delivery, warehouse, workers, amazon
Photo: Bloomberg

com Inc on Thursday said more than 19,000 of its US frontline workers contracted the this year, or 1.44% of the total, a disclosure sought by labor advocates who have criticized the Covid-19 response of the world's largest online retailer.

Some staff, elected officials and unions in recent months have said put employees' health at risk by keeping warehouses open during the pandemic. said its rate of infection was 42% lower than expected when considering the virus' spread in the general population.

Amazon in a blog post encouraged other businesses to report comparable figures. It said it will expand virus testing to 50,000 US employees per day by November through internally built capacity.

The disclosure by Amazon offers a rare look at the disease's impact on a big US employer. Amazon has kept facilities open to meet a surge in demand from shoppers stuck at home, adding temperature checks, social distancing software and other safety procedures.

Athena, a labor and activist coalition, called on officials to investigate Amazon and for more regular reporting by the company in light of the news. "Amazon allowed Covid-19 to spread like wildfire," coalition director Dania Rajendra said in a statement.

Amazon said that out of its 1,372,000 frontline employees at Amazon and its Whole Foods Market subsidiary, 19,816 tested positive or were presumed to have Covid-19 between March 1 and Sept. 19. The figure includes seasonal staff and those who may have been infected outside work, it said.

By contrast, 33,952 would have contracted the virus had Amazon's rate equaled that of the general populace, when accounting for employees' age and geography, it said.

Minnesota had the highest rate with nearly 32 infections per 1,000 workers, versus nearly 16 for the public. Amazon has butted heads with a labor group there; it did not have comment on the specific rate.

"This information would be more powerful if there were similar data from other major employers to compare it to," Amazon said in the blog post, adding that it hopes the numbers "will prove useful as states make decisions about reopening public facilities and employers consider whether and how to bring people back to work."

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sat, October 03 2020. 12:35 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU