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Amazon workers in Michigan protest, third coronavirus case confirmed

Amazon workers at the distribution center in Romulus, Michigan, will be walking off their jobs Wednesday at noon in response to the company’s failure to protect the health of its employees amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to a statement.

Recently, two positive cases of coronavirus have been found at the DTW1 fulfillment center and a third was confirmed early Wednesday morning.

“We are scared to go to work and disgusted at Amazon’s disregard for our safety and our health and the health of our neighbors,” said Tonya Ramsay, a leader of the walkout and a worker at DTW1, in the statement.”We aren’t heroes and we aren’t Red Cross workers – we are working people who pack and deliver goods. We’re working through a crisis not by choice but by necessity.”

In this June 26, 2019, file photo a worker sorts through items and places orders at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Staten Island in New York. Amazon hopes to open a similar fulfillment center on the site of the old Pontiac Silverdome in Oakland County.
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Workers said they are pushing Amazon to protect workers’ safety and health, which in turn affects the health and safety of customers and the community. A petition released in March asked for the company to ensure paid leave and to strategize a plan of action in response to any interruptions in operations in relation to COVID-19. The petition has more than 4,000 signatures.

“Amazon says that it values safety and health, but it’s putting us, our families, and our communities in danger,” said Mario Crippen, a leader of the walkout and a worker at DTW1.

This isn’t the first walkout by Amazon employees. Walkouts at Amazon facilities have taken place in Chicago and Staten Island, New York – the latter of which led to the firing of walkout leader Chris Smalls.

You can watch a livestream of the DTW1 fulfillment center walkout here.

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