Amazon workers in Detroit are set to walk out after a third case of the coronavirus was confirmed there

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves, France, November 5, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

  • Workers at an Amazon fulfillment center near Detroit are set to walk out on Wednesday over concerns that the company mishandled the coronavirus at the facility.
  • A third case of the coronavirus was confirmed at the Detroit fulfillment center on Wednesday, the company told employees in a note shared with Business Insider.
  • The walkout in Michigan comes after a similar one in New York, where the employee who organized the protest was fired.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Workers at an Amazon fulfillment center outside of Detroit are set to walk out on Wednesday over concerns that the company mishandled the coronavirus at the facility.

A third case of the coronavirus was confirmed at Amazon's DTW1 fulfillment center in Romulus, Michigan on Wednesday, the company told employees in a note shared with Business Insider. The third worker infected with the virus was last at the facility on March 28, and Amazon told workers it learned of the case on Wednesday.Advertisement

"We are scared to go to work and disgusted at Amazon's disregard for our safety and our health and the health of our neighbors," said Tonya Ramsay, a leader of the walkout and a worker at DTW1. "We aren't heroes and we aren't Red Cross workers - we are working people who pack and deliver goods. We're working through a crisis not by choice but by necessity."

Amazon workers are asking the company to take more safety precautions, like closing facilities for cleaning, as employees in its facilities around the country test positive for COVID-19, and say the company has failed to adequately sanitize buildings and hasn't been transparent about coronavirus cases at its facilities.

An employee at the Michigan facility told Business Insider that after the third confirmed case was shared with workers on Wednesday, Amazon has refused "to tell us if they were on day shift or night shift and what department they worked in... just sad."
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The walkout in Michigan comes after a similar protest in New York, where the employee who organized it was fired. Chris Smalls, an assistant manager at an Amazon facility in Staten Island, told Business Insider his firing was retaliation, but Amazon said he was fired for violating social-distancing guidelines. New York's human rights commissioner has opened an investigation into the firing.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the Michigan fulfillment center. "For weeks, workers and community members have been demanding that Amazon take action to address the glaring gaps in its response to the COVID-19 crisis that have put customers, neighborhoods and workers in dangers," workers at the Michigan facility said in a statement. Advertisement

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