Amazon is facing scrutiny after a seventh warehouse worker has died of COVID-19, with the company still not revealing the total number of its employees who have contracted the virus.
As The Verge confirmed, an employee at an Amazon warehouse in Indianapolis died after contracting the coronavirus. There are now a total of seven known deaths among warehouse workers, though the report noted that the true total is difficult to determine as the company has been tight-lipped about the outbreak and not revealed how many of their employees have tested positive for the deadly virus.
The report noted that employees at the Indianapolis facility first heard about the co-worker’s death through rumors, saying that management only announced the death after they were confronted.
“They weren’t going to say anything if it wasn’t for people asking questions,” one unnamed worker told The Verge, asking to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.
The report added that Amazon has “repeatedly declined” to say how many warehouse workers had been diagnosed with coronavirus.
The scrutiny has been intensified by the sharp rise in sales that Amazon has seen since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. According to CBS News, the company reported record first-quarter sales of $75.4 billion, which analysts noted translated to close to $10,000 in sales every second.
The company has also made significant investments into improving safety and sanitary conditions in its warehouse facilities. As The Inquisitr reported, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos told investors in announcing first-quarter results that the company would be spending at least $4 billion on a combination of pay raises for employees, more access to personal protective equipment, more widespread cleaning at its warehouses, and increased coronavirus testing capabilities.
But Amazon has faced other pressures, including many of its employees joining a nationwide strike last month calling on companies to better protect them amid the coronavirus outbreak. The company released a statement to The Inquisitr, accusing labor groups of spreading misinformation and false claims about Amazon about its response and protection for employees during the coronavirus crisis.
“What’s true is that masks, temperature checks, hand sanitizer, increased time off, increased pay, and more are standard across our Amazon and Whole Food Market networks already,” the company noted. “Our employees are doing incredible work for their communities every day, and we have invested heavily in their health and safety through increased safety measures and the procurement of millions of safety supplies and have invested nearly $700 million in increased pay.”