While a record number of small businesses are closing during the pandemic, Amazon’s package delivery is soaring. They’ve had to add over 175,000 employees since March. Their sales increased by 40% from April to June, and its quarterly profit of $5.2 billion was its biggest ever.
But profits aren’t the only thing skyrocketing at Amazon – so is the number of COVID-19 infected workers. Since March nearly 20,000 Amazon workers have contracted the virus, about 1.4% of its workers, and ten workers have already died from it. And health experts have said that the number of infected workers is likely higher than what Amazon has reported.
Amazon claims it is doing its best to protect workers, implementing regular tests, temperature screenings, and social distancing. But many workers have filed complaints, citing crowded warehouses and infrequent testing. And temperature screenings still let people with the virus into work since it can be spread without any symptoms.
Amazon’s response to the pandemic is no different than the response across the country: what matters is protecting profits, not protecting workers. And on that score, Amazon is doing quite well.