- On Wednesday, a group of Amazon employees named We Won & # 39; t Build It sent an internal letter denouncing the company's work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, asking the company to hire its employees in data centers, fulfillment centers and whole Foods better protect the coronavirus pandemic.
- Employees have already tested positive for coronavirus at Whole Foods and some camps, and the letter says Amazon should offer them unconditional paid sick leave.
- "Local and national governments, as well as international agencies, have taken exceptional measures to minimize the damage from this modern plague, and Amazon is taking steps to ensure that many of these measures are futile," the letter said.
- Another point of protest: Palantir, which develops software that ICE can use to locate undocumented immigrants, is a customer of the Amazon Web Services cloud.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
A group of Amazon employees sent an internal letter Wednesday challenging their company's work at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and asking them to better protect their warehouse workers in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The letter was written by a group called We Won & # 39; t Build It, which also urges the company to better protect its fulfillment and data center employees and Whole Foods employees.
"Local and national governments, as well as international agencies, have taken exceptional measures to minimize the damage from this modern plague, and Amazon is taking steps to ensure that many of these measures are futile," the letter said. You can read the full letter below.
While many Amazon employees, like software engineers, could work from home, the letter denounced how Amazon maintained it Whole food stores and warehouses that run even though the employees there tested positive for corona virus. While Amazon is now offering these employees two weeks of paid sick leave, the letter says they should get unconditional paid vacation.
The letter was sent to Amazon's We Won & # 39; t Build It internal mailing list, which has over 600 members. The group does not ask for signatures, but asks the employees to discuss these issues with these colleagues, to share their support for the letter and to donate a GoFundMe Support for workers infected with COVID-19, coronavirus disease.
The letter also campaigned against immigration and customs officials (ICE) and denounced how people were arrested in hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"The requirements of the" We won't build it "campaign haven't changed," the letter said. "They have always been life or death for many people. Now they are life and death for all of us. Amazon must stop and ensure the provision of services to people and authorities that threaten the life and health of this country and the world Health and safety of all of our employees and colleagues, regardless of their professional role. "
We Will Not Build It previously required the company to reject Palantir's business, which hosts its data analysis software in the Amazon Web Services cloud. Palantir has contracts with ICE for $ 150 million. Software has reportedly been required to provide data on undocumented immigrants and to plan raids.
Recently, a group of Microsoft employees also supported a campaign by the Mijente immigrant advocacy group to encourage ICE to stop hunting undocumented immigrants during the coronavirus crisis.
You can read the full letter below:
We are in a global pandemic. By March 22, over 340,000 cases of COVID-19 had been identified worldwide, and this number is growing rapidly. Local and national governments as well as international authorities have taken extraordinary measures to minimize the damage done by this modern plague. Meanwhile, Amazon is taking steps to ensure that many of these measures are futile.
ICE, the violent enforcement arm of the US border regime, is creating an escalating situation Immigrants, their own agents and the general public in danger. Over the past week, ICE has continued its policy of Violations of national and international standards and laws by pretending to be doctors and Arrest people in hospitals In the midst of a pandemic that will keep our most vulnerable neighbors from getting testing and care and retransmitting SARS-CoV-2 across the community. In response to the community's outrage, ICE claimed it was Reduction in enforcement, but this statement quickly went back. People previously detained in 3 ICE facilities are on hunger strikeand urge ICE to take steps to prevent the virus from spreading has repeatedly failed in the past. ICE is actively aggravating the COVID-19 pandemic and Amazon is actively aggravating the pandemic by continuing to support the Department of Defense, the Department of Internal Security, ICE and ICE strategic partners such as Palantir.
Even when office workers were asked to work from home, Amazon's measures to protect FC (Fulfillment Center) and DC (data center) employees, as well as Whole Foods employees, ranged from inadequate to overtly negligent. Workers and buyers of whole foods and Warehouse worker in New York both were openly exposed to SARS-CoV-2, but Amazon has kept both facilities To run. Amazon offered two weeks of paid sick leave For workers who tested positive for COVID-19, but because testing is hard to come by, the only acceptable solution for Amazon workers is to offer all workers unconditional paid sick leave.
The requirements of the "We won't build it" campaign haven't changed. For many people, they have always been life or death. Now they are life and death for all of us. Amazon must stop providing services to people and government agencies that threaten the life and health of this country and the world, and ensure the health and safety of all our employees and colleagues regardless of their professional role. If the company does not do the right thing, it is up to us as workers to stand together to protect ourselves and each other.
Reach with us our employees, neighbors and our community with the following steps:
- First talk to your employees and colleagues about it! We would recommend anyone reading this to contact five other Amazonians to discuss these issues and this statement. We need each other now more than ever!
- In the midst of this pandemic, it is important to reaffirm the principles we are fighting for. As part of this survey, we ask you to tell us why you have decided to sign the letter "We will not build it".
- Our employees in the fulfillment center have started a GoFundMe Support for workers who have signed COVID-19. Many of us are currently having problems, but if you have additional funds, please send us a way.
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