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24 Dec, 2021 16:24

Amazon denied sick leave to workers who later died – rights group

Amazon denied sick leave to workers who later died – rights group

Two Amazon employees reportedly died within hours of each other at the company’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama last month after being denied sick leave, according to workers’ rights group More Perfect Union.

The two workers allegedly died on November 28 and 29, within hours of each other, with one passing away at the facility and another after receiving medical attention. 

Isaiah Thomas, an Amazon worker, said that one of the victims suffered a stroke and “died on the job” after asking HR if he could go home. According to claims made in an interview published by More Perfect Union, the worker who later passed away was told that he could “either go home and lose your job” or “stay here and keep working.”

According to fellow Amazon worker Perry Connelly, the man who suffered a stroke died inside a trailer. It took around 20 minutes for his body to be found.

Despite the fatalities, More Perfect Union claims that their co-workers were told to carry on working, as usual, raising concerns about Amazon’s treatment of employees. “They actually come around and tell people not to talk about it, and go back to work,” Connelly claimed.

Workers at the Bessemer warehouse attempted to unionize earlier this year over allegations of dangerous working conditions but were defeated by 1798 votes to 738. The National Labor Relations Board later found out Amazon had illegally interfered in the union vote and ordered a revote on November 29.

Alongside the claims made about the deaths of the two workers, More Perfect Union alleged that six people had died at the facility in 2021 alone, and accused Amazon of trying to cover up the situation. The workers’ rights group stated that it had voiced its claims to Amazon, but said the e-commerce giant did not respond to its requests.

Amazon has not publicly responded to the allegations.

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