While Amazon is looking to hire 75,000 new employees to keep up with the high demand from customer purchases in the midst of the pandemic, it also fired a few of its workers after several employees spoke out on working conditions. After several workers tested positive for the coronavirus, some have voiced growing concern for their safety, causing rift between workers and the company.
Amazon has fired three more employees after they criticized the company for remaining open following the growing outbreak. According to Buzzfeed, Bashir Mohamed, Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa have all been terminated after protesting and scrutinizing Amazon. While the company feels employees have a right to express their concern, a spokesperson said the company also felt the need to take action after those workers continually "violated" company policies. "We support every employee's right to criticize their employer's working conditions, but that does not come with blanket immunity against any and all internal policies," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider. "We terminated these employees for repeatedly violating internal policies."
Their terminations come two weeks after Christian Smalls was fired after raising health and safety concerns. Amazon said he came to its Staten Island warehouse for a demonstration in violation of his paid quarantine. The protest expressed employees' viewpoint that their health and safety was not put at the top of Amazon's priority list.
"Our top concern is ensuring the health and safety of our employees. We made over 150 process updates to help protect employees — from enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures to piloting new efforts like using disinfectant fog in our New York fulfillment center," the company wrote in a blog according to CNN. There have been reported cases in their Washington, California and New York facilities which have forced those locations to shut down temporarily for extensive cleaning.
In the meantime, the company has no intentions of slowing down in order to meet the high demand of online purchases. On Monday, it announced that it would be hiring 100,000 new workers for its distribution centers, now expected to spend more than $500 million in pay increases compared to the $350 million they originally planned for.