“Save us, Jeff Bezos!” Worker says Amazon contractor shuns Covid safety

Electrician alleges that when Amazon’s cameras are off, so are masks

New York /
Apr.April 20, 2021 05:45 PM
Workers at the location, 526 Gulf Avenue in Staten Island, are being told that they do not have to wear masks in areas not monitored by cameras. (Google Maps, iStock)

Workers at the location, 526 Gulf Avenue in Staten Island, are being told that they do not have to wear masks in areas not monitored by cameras. (Google Maps, iStock)

Covid-19 protocols are being willfully ignored at an Amazon warehouse construction site, an electrician alleged in a Department of Buildings complaint filed Tuesday.

Workers at the location, 526 Gulf Avenue, are being told that they do not have to wear masks in areas not monitored by Amazon’s cameras, the site is not being disinfected and Covid-19 screenings are being forged, alleges the complaint, which was filed by an employee for Arcadia Electric working under Krusinski Construction.

Amazon and Arcadia Electric did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson for Krusinski Construction said the firm will look into the matter and “is committed to protecting the health and safety of its workers and others and to following all safety requirements and regulations.”

The project superintendent “says he doesn’t care and Covid is bullshit,” the unnamed worker’s complaint reads. “No regard for our health or safety.”

The company previously held daily Covid-19 screenings, where employees signed documentation stating they had no symptoms. Now, those documents are being duplicated, with a new date added, the complaint charges. Workers are forbidden from speaking to the medic and are told they will be sent home if they ask her medical questions, according to the filing.

Capacity restrictions are also being ignored and no one is keeping a list for contact tracing in case of exposure, it continues.

For good measure, the complaint accuses the superintendent of smoking in the construction trailer.

“I’m scared for my health. No one cares if a sick co-worker comes to work — they just want to make money,” the electrician states.

It’s not the first time that such accusations were levied at the warehouse. New York Attorney General Letitia James sued Amazon in February, accusing the company of “flagrant disregard for health and safety requirements” for its warehouse workers at the Staten Island facility.

James had cited a failure to disinfect the warehouse or efficiently conduct contact tracing and the firing of a worker who raised safety concerns.

Her lawsuit stated that at least 250 employees at the facility had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Warehouse employees at the facility are pursuing unionization efforts, according to the Commercial Observer. A recent effort by the retail workers union RWDSU to organize employees at an Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama, failed.

Amazon has been leasing warehouses in the city and across the U.S. at a rapid rate as it expands and seeks to speed up delivery times.





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