NORTH RANDALL,Ohio (WJW)– Several Amazon employees at the North Randall fulfillment center say they do not feel safe on the job after a diagnosed case of COVID-19 was announced by management.
“It’s so many people in that facility so even though they say stay 6 feet apart when you’re walking, you can’t stay 6 foot apart because everybody is rushing through,” said a worker who asked not to be identified.
The 855,000-square-foot facility is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In a behind-the-scenes tour of the building last year FOX 8 reported more than 2,000 full-time employees worked there.
During the coronavirus pandemic with many following Gov. Mike DeWine stay-at-home order, demand is rising for items to be shipped directly to customers. The situation is described as a peak Christmas time level surge for products, yet many employees said their health during this crisis is also essential.
“There has not been a shut down at all. It’s like they don’t care about their employees,” said an employee who asked to remain anonymous.
Employees saod they were notified about the COVID-19 positive case via a text and voicemail from management.
FOX 8 obtained a copy of the voicemail, which states the company is making changes including taking temperatures of employees, expanding janitorial staff and allowing employees to clock in and out without crowding near the time clock. That’s in addition to watching video footage to determine who the COVID-19 positive person contacted.
Amazon Spokesperson Alyssa Bronikowski issued this statement:
“We are supporting the individual who is recovering. We are following guidelines from health officials and medical experts, and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site.”
An employee, who said she works as a picker at the facility, said she plans to continue to work despite her concern.
“I don’t feel safe going to work because of the coronavirus because I don’t feel they’re taking enough precaution.”
Another employee who has worked at the center since 2018 said he is fearful to return. He said he chose not to return to work in mid-March fearing a case would be diagnosed at the facility.
“I haven’t been to work in almost a month. This will be the second pay and we get paid biweekly and I will not receive a check this week again due to the COVID-19.”
An Amazon spokesperson said people diagnosed with COVID-19 are asked to self-quarantine and will receive up to two weeks of pay. This is in addition to unrestricted unpaid time off for all employees through April.