Some Amazon and Instacart workers planned to go on strike for better pay and protection during the coronavirus outbreak.
Another confirmed case of the novel coronavirus has been reported at an Amazon fulfillment center in Lexington, the company told employees.
The worker who tested positive for COVID-19 was last at the LEX2 facility on Saturday, according to a text message sent Tuesday to employees and obtained by The Courier Journal.
An Amazon spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.
An unspecified number of Amazon workers at the LEX2 fulfillment center, located on Trade Street in Lexington, have tested positive for the virus in recent weeks, according to the company. But through messages to employees, the company has now shared at least six confirmed cases.
Employees at the facility, which mainly handles returned items, were notified in an April 3 automated call of the first known confirmed case, with Amazon saying the infected worker was last at the warehouse on March 20.
Amazon later told workers in a text message of “additional confirmed cases of COVID-19” at LEX2, with the unspecified number of people last at the facility on March 31.
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And the online retailer followed up that news by notifying LEX2 workers of two more employees testing positive for COVID-19, with their last days of work on March 31 and April 3.
Amazon announced in recent weeks that it has implemented numerous safety measures to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the use of temperature checks at its U.S. and European facilities as well as strict enforcement of social-distancing rules.
The Seattle-based firm also said it would start moving toward the testing of all of its employees. Amazon employs roughly 750,000 people around the world.
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Amazon also said it is offering two weeks of paid leave to workers at all of its facilities who may have come in close contact with any infected colleagues. It is also offering unlimited unpaid leave to all employees through the end of April.
But as COVID-19 cases have reportedly hit at least 74 Amazon facilities around the country, concerned employees have spoken out and accused the company of not doing enough to protect them by keeping warehouses open.
On Tuesday, Amazon told news outlets that an employee at a warehouse in Hawthorne, California, died on March 31 after contracting the coronavirus, the first such death reported by the company.
Workers have organized walkouts at several fulfillment centers across the nation.
Despite the pockets of labor unrest and health concerns, Amazon is not hitting pause on the hiring button.
The company has filled 100,000 news jobs since March, and it said Monday that it wants to fill another 75,000 full-time and part-time jobs to help meet customer demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Reach Billy Kobin at email@example.com or 502-582-7030. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/subscribe.
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