AMAZON has announced it will implement new steps to keep staff safe from the coronavirus – as they are probed over 'human rights abuse'.
On Thursday, Dave Clark, the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations at Amazon, announced four areas that the retailer will make changes in.
Today, the e-commerce giant announced it would improve personal protective equipment, temperature checks, auditing measures, updating hiring and team support.
On Sunday, Amazon announced that it would be running daily temperature checks, and reinstated today that anyone coming in at over 100.4F would be asked to go home and only come back 'after they've gone three days without a fever'.
Amazon are also set to provide face masks to staff in all locations by early next week.
The website announced that they have hired an additional 80,000 people and expect to spend 'well beyond' $350 million in additional pay.
Clark also said in the statement that: "Amazon associates and partners working in our operations network and data centers are among the many heroes of the COVID-19 crisis.
"I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate our teams for serving their communities.
"If someone would rather not come to work, we are supporting them in their time off.
"If someone is diagnosed or comes to us who is presumptively diagnosed (but unable to get a test), we are giving them extra paid time off.
"In addition, we are also contacting people who have been in close contact with a diagnosed individual and giving them time off as well, for 14 days, to stay home with pay."
The new rules comes just two days after New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Amazon is being investigated over possible "human rights abuse" during the pandemic.
De Blasio made the announcement on Tuesday after Chris Smalls, a 31-year-old process assistant from Amazon's Staten Island warehouse, claimed he was fired from the company following a strike for demanding greater protections for employees.
“I’ve ordered the city’s commission on human rights to investigate Amazon immediately to determine if that’s true," De Blasio said.
In the last week, workers from Staten Island and a fulfilment in Detroit performed a walkout over how the company have handled the coronavirus.
Workers at the DTW1 fulfiment center in Michigan, said management failed to notify them of the first COVID-19 case amongst their team, The Verge reported.
Employee Tonya Ramsay said: "I get we're essential, but our lives are essential as well."
A spokesperson for Amazon released a statement regarding Wednesday's walkout, stating: "Of the over 4,000 employees at our Romulus, MI fulfillment center, less than 15 people, participated in today’s demonstration.
"Our employees are heroes fighting for their communities and helping people get critical items they need in this crisis.
"Like all businesses grappling with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we are working hard to keep employees safe while serving communities and the most vulnerable.
"We have taken extreme measures to keep people safe, tripling down on deep cleaning, procuring safety supplies that are available and changing processes to ensure those in our buildings are keeping safe distances.
"The truth is the vast majority of employees continue to show up and do the heroic work of delivering for customers every day."
The US coronavirus death toll currently stand at 5,112, with at least 215,344 confirmed cases.
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