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we are seeing a wave of Labor action across the country in the midst of this pandemic yesterday workers for the grocery delivery app instacart held a one-day strike demanding hazard pay and access to protective equipment today employees from the grocer Whole Foods did a sick-out we’ve also seen labor action by sanitation workers who walked off the job demanding protective equipment and hazard pay as well and an Amazon which has seen its sales soar not surprisingly is now hiring a hundred thousand new warehouse and delivery people as a result workers across the country has said the conditions inside the warehouses are unsafe yesterday more than a dozen workers in Amazon Staten Island warehouse walked out in protest the organizer of that walkout Christian smalls joins me now he was fired for an Amazon after that walkout I should tell you we talked to Amazon today they refused to speak on the record they did provide us with a statement they claimed that they did not fire mr.

Small’s because he organized a rack out whether he was fired because he violated they say a medical quarantine and came on site yesterday and mr.

Small’s joins me now we can get to the firing but first I just want to ask you about what conditions in the warehouse have been like and why you felt the need to do something about them well as you know this pandemic shocked the world shop America the conditions in the warehouse has been hugely different it’s been scary it’s been like a ghost town in there associates are scared to come to work ever since the pandemic hit us I never seen something like this directly I see an associates get sick weekly different types of symptoms talking about vomiting dizziness fatigue you name it I’ve seen it and it’s been scary it’s been very scary when you talk about it shows you so you say that the workers that you’re working with you’ve seen them get sick are you able to maintain any kind of distance in that environment have you been provided with things like masks to kind of prevent transmission no that’s the thing our people is very limited at the time we don’t have masks the gloves that we have are not latex they’re used for lifting up boxes as far as the environment like you said you just stated a hundred thousand employees being hiring Amazon hiring process is very scary because you’re bringing in large loads of crowds off the streets and these people are undiagnosed we don’t know where they come in from we don’t know their their status when they’re coming into the building they’re coming in in large groups 30 40 50 people at a time there’s no way we can tell who is diagnosed and who is not and the company is not being transparent about you know who has this virus and who doesn’t so that’s the scariest thing in terms of the demands for the walkout and I know it was about a dozen people that the company says look there are thousands of folks were working this is a very small group of people that are unhappy what what do you want to see happen if you could if you could sit down with Jeff Bezos and and and tell them these are the top three things that we need to happen at your company what would that be well number one they definitely need to be a transparency of how many cases are confirmed in this building why is it such a secret you know me being a part of management in a PA a process assistant we end up a sink meeting and they’re telling me there’s the one confirmed case in the building and do not tell the associates that right there was this alarming right there what why can’t the associate know that this confirmed cases in the building so there needs to be a transparency between that that definitely is a disconnect between that and Jeff Bezos need to listen to the associates it’s not just this building its buildings all across the nation as you can see this case is popping up one by one building by building that should be a red flag that there’s something very wrong with the process and the safety procedures that’s going on in these buildings so yesterday was a cry a cry for help in a statement I was given the people voices that are unheard and that’s what I wanted to do I want to continue shedding light to the people that are unpaid right now people that have underlying health conditions that are sitting home for the entire month of March that haven’t been paid there’s people that have lupus there’s people that have bronchitis there’s people that have asthma we have senior citizens out there that they hire as well 55 65 these people can’t come to work this virus has no remorse so I’m speaking up for them yesterday my demonstration was was a statement let me ask you about your termination that they fired you after the walkout they say that you were violating company policy you should have been staying out of there because you’ve been exposed to a sick worker you were imperiling the health of others what do you say to that well I say that’s a that’s totally false number one the associate that I sent home on Tuesday she was working the entire shift Sunday Monday and Tuesday up in to the point where I sent her home her results came back Wednesday so I had no idea that she was going to test positive I was only around her for less than five minutes we had a brief conversation early in the morning around 9:30 and she looked ill she had a mask on she had gloves on I stood from a distance we had a brief conversation I suggested that she go home because she informed me that she was testing she went for testing the night before and we all know that you don’t get the test unless you’re showing severe symptoms so the policies where Amazon is very flawed you know because if you’ve gone protesting you shouldn’t be allowed back into the building and problems the discrepancy is the discrepancy is that you’re actually allowed to come to work sick or undiagnosed until they receive a confirmation letter from the doctor which is crazy from me because she went protesting on Monday her confirmation letter didn’t come in and so Thursday as you know in New York and the doctors the doctors are overwhelmed right now they don’t have time to sit out an email to the CDC and the CDC to contact the job so it took a number of days without to get through and she actually had the window of opportunity to come to work so thank God I sent her home on Tuesday and she didn’t return but if I wasn’t if I didn’t send her home she would’ve been able to work another ten-hour shift and possibly put more people at risk right so so the point there being that this is not like that they’ve been real fastidious about quarantine policy here if that’s what knowing they know the policy the policy is very flawed and they need to take a very good look at it once again that was only around her for five minutes she was around every employee in my department for 10-plus hours so who is who is the medical expertise for Amazon that’s making these decisions that that I need to be quarantined and not my employees not the employees in that department like how do they make that decision and what do they consider is come what do they consider coming into close contact is it walking into somebody is it touching somebody is it talking having a conversation so these are the things that the questions that they need to be answered Christian smalls thank you so much for taking time tonight thank you for the work that you and your colleagues at Amazon in those warehouses have been doing for the rest of the country appreciate it.

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bramen

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