FILE PHOTO: A employee in a face masks walks by vans parked at an Amazon facility as the worldwide coronavirus outbreak continued in Bethpage on Lengthy Island in New York, U.S., March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Picture

(1) – A U.S. labor and activist coalition stated staff of Amazon.com Inc would take off work beginning on Tuesday to draw consideration to what it says are unsafe situations at warehouses in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

The motion entails greater than 350 of Amazon’s staff from 40 services, in accordance to the coalition. The world’s largest on-line retailer has confronted a number of employee protests and calls for by unions for it to shut warehouses down.

The virus has contaminated greater than 2.four million individuals globally together with Amazon warehouse staff, and it has given voice to labor activists on the retailer. Nonetheless, organizing has remained restricted and has not hampered operations at an organization with greater than 590,000 staff in america.

1 was unable to confirm the numbers shared by the coalition, generally known as Athena. Amazon stated stories of employees’ participation had been “grossly exaggerated.”

In a video that Athena posted on Twitter, employee Phillip Anthony Ruiz stated, “I’m not going in at this time as a result of Amazon is placing our lives in danger.”

Facility closures would hinder Amazon’s potential to ship important items in the course of the pandemic, with the overwhelming majority of the U.S. inhabitants underneath authorities stay-at-home orders. The corporate has centered on preventive well being measures to preserve work websites open: rising sanitation, mandating social distancing, giving staff face masks and taking their temperatures.

“Greater than 250,000 individuals have come to work at this time, much more than final week to serve their communities,” Amazon stated in a press release. “We encourage anybody to examine the well being and safety measures Amazon has taken, and the velocity of their implementation, throughout this disaster with different retailers.”

Circumstances of the virus have been reported amongst staff from greater than 50 of Amazon’s U.S. warehouses, in accordance to the New York Instances. Amazon has 519 services in its U.S. distribution infrastructure, in accordance to logistics consultancy MWPVL Worldwide Inc.

Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; enhancing by Grant McCool