Jacksonville Amazon employees voice concerns over working conditions during outbreak

Amazon confirmed 10 facilities across the country have employees who tested positive for COVID-19

Jacksonville Amazon employee tests positive for COVID-19

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – At a time when customers are relying on delivery more than ever, Amazon workers say they are uncertain about their own health.

After an employee who worked at the fulfillment center near the Jacksonville International Airport tested positive earlier this week, more concerns are being raised by some anxious workers there.

Amazon says no other employees have tested positive at the airport center, but workers describe uncertainty amongst employees over whether they had contact with the sick employee.

Workers say they’ve been asked to keep six feet away from each other and additional breaks have been added so people are not congregating in large groups. But some say they don’t have the protective equipment they need.

The worry comes as Amazon confirmed 10 facilities across the country have employees who tested positive for novel coronavirus.

“They don’t give us masks to protect our face. They don’t provide us that. They don’t give us sanitary gloves or anything,” one local worker told News4Jax.

“We haven’t received any masks. You get masks, you have to pay for them on your own. It’s just wipes at certain stations, they are available, and hand sanitizers and they tell you to stay six feet away from each other," another worker said.

In a message from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Saturday, he told employees they’ve “placed purchase orders for millions of face masks” to give workers who can’t work from home but said, “few of those orders have been filled."

A spokesperson for Amazon told News4Jax on Friday:

  • “We will alert any associate who had close contact with this person at our building and will ask them to not return to the site and to self-quarantine for 14-days, and we will pay them for their time at home.
  • All Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine will receive up to two weeks of pay.
  • We are consulting with health authorities and medical experts on how to handle building closures for deep cleaning, if an employee tests positive for COVID-19."

“They’re not thinking about us, I think, or about our families or what we can give to them. They’re not thinking about anything and I really feel like this building needs to be shut down and get sanitized,” a worker said.

Amazon has temporarily closed down some sites, like their Queens location, but has not closed any Jacksonville facilities.

A spokesperson told News4Jax it is taking “extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at their site."

About the Author:

Kelly Wiley, an award-winning investigative reporter, joined the News4Jax I-Team in June 2019.