LOS ANGELES – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) issued a statement of support for Amazon employees and other frontline workers who are protesting unfair treatment at many grocery stores, factories, warehouses, delivery companies, and retail stores across the country during the coronavirus pandemic:
“I am proud to declare my strong and unwavering support for the unsung heroes of the coronavirus pandemic: our frontline workers. These hardworking men and women are risking their lives on a daily basis to ensure that our families and communities have the food, medication, household items, and services that we are relying upon to survive the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is unconscionable that many employees of Amazon – one of the wealthiest companies in America – are coming forward and expressing the inhumane and unsafe work conditions they are enduring during this pandemic. Many of them still lack the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to safely do their jobs, and others have indicated that Amazon has outright failed to adhere to commonsense Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for workplaces that have been directly impacted by the coronavirus. As a result, on March 31st, Amazon reported that an operations manager at the facility in Hawthorne, California in the 43rd District died from complications with COVID-19. This is a tragic and avoidable consequence. Such incompetence and negligence is absolutely unacceptable, a sentiment shared by at least one Amazon executive, who recently resigned in protest of the company’s treatment of workers.
“I am grateful to my constituents, labor unions, and workers in communities all across this country who are shining a light on the dire working conditions that far too many frontline workers are confronted with during this pandemic. The recent reports of COVID-19 deaths and infections that may have been caused by inadequate health and safety measures at many of our national, regional, and local businesses must not be overlooked. As my colleagues and I continue to fight for increased funding for testing and PPE for workers in the next round of coronavirus relief funding, I will be holding virtual meetings with workers and labor union leaders in my District to discuss what else can be done at the federal level prevent the deadly spread of this virus amongst our frontline workers.
“As we witness the demonstrations and calls to action that are taking place all around this country in support of our workers, we must all do our part. If our frontline workers can get up every day and place their lives on the line, we have a responsibility to exercise social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and other preventative measures that will help us curtail the spread of COVID-19. I urge everyone in our community to follow the guidance of the experts and join us in the fight to protect our frontline workers and our community from this deadly pandemic.”