27 August 2020

Bloomberg: “Amazon tells Staff Hand-Washing Time won’t be Held Against Them”

Amazon.com Inc. told employees at a New York warehouse, where workers have sued and gone on strike over safety concerns, that they won’t be punished for insufficient productivity or extra time washing their hands.

In a message Amazon sent recently to employees and posted in bathrooms at the Staten Island facility, the e-commerce giant said workers wouldn’t be disciplined for falling short of quotas based on how many tasks they complete each hour. Time spent on safety measures like handwashing also won’t be counted against them under Amazon’s “Time Off Task” policy, which limits the number of unproductive minutes allowed in their day.

Josh Eidelson

To be filed under ‘shit companies get away with when workers lack adequate protections’. No employee should have to worry about washing their hands or taking a bathroom break – or any kind of break for that matter – during a pandemic or under normal circumstances. It would not be the first time Amazon is accused of poor treatment of their staff – as recently as the start of the pandemic they were ordered to stop selling nonessential items in France because they neglected to take adequate precautions for workers. Meanwhile Jeff Bezos’ net worth increased by a staggering $82 billion (!) since the start of the year, an extreme example of income inequality.

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