A worker was recently fired from Amazon after he planned to protest against the company's safety precautions and alleged that the company lied about coronavirus cases. Chris Smalls, the worker who got fired had announced the protest through text message. He reasoned out that the safety precautions taken by Amazon against coronavirus were not proper. The company said that he violated the quarantine policy amid COVID-19 pandemic in a New York warehouse, according to WABC-TV.
Small's plan was to protest at Amazon's Staten Island facility on Monday, according to his text message. The facility is home to four thousand staff, where Smalls was an assistant manager.
Company not honest
The protest plan came soon after he organized a one-day walkout at the Amazon's facility against the company's coronavirus safety response. He said that the company was not honest while reporting the number of cases
Amazon reported one worker who tested positive for COVID-19 at the warehouse, according to Small. However he alleged that it was a "boldface lie," he said, "because I sent home the third case directly," as per the report.
Small was also quarantined by the company after he came into contact with an employee who was tested positive for coronavirus. The worker was sent home on last Tuesday after symptoms were seen, while his test was conducted on Wednesday, but he was allowed to work again on Thursday, at a time when his test results were not out, according to WABC-TV.
After this Smalls expressed concerns to Amazon regarding the issue. "Her friend caught it. Her friend was the third case... she's a supervisor in the pack department and the pack department is right before the items go out [the] door to customers. It's dangerous," he said.
Company didn't fire him for the protest plan
An Amazon spokesperson responded to the issue by an email to Newsweek. The company did not terminate Smalls because he organized the "15 person protest," but because he social distancing guidelines even after multiple warnings, said the email. He was also offered a 14 day paid leave as he had come in close contact with a worker tested positive for the virus, but he came to the site which posed risk, added the email.
The spokesperson continued, "Mr Smalls received multiple warnings for violating social distancing guidelines. He was also found to have had close contact with a diagnosed associate with a confirmed case of COVID-19 and was asked to remain home with pay for 14 days, which is a measure we're taking at sites around the world. Despite that instruction to stay home with pay, he came on-site, further putting the teams at risk."
Smalls has continued to criticize the company and responded to his firing by saying that he didn't "violate any safety guidelines." In an interview with Fox Business, Smalls said "As far as the quarantine, what gives Amazon medical expertise? What is their definition of close contact?"
The company's spokesperson said that it is following all safety measures were being followed, that includes extended paid leave for full-time workers along with $2 addition per hour among other benefits.