But behind bars, Amazon has closely monitored the spread of the virus inside at least one store, according to an internal note seen by CNN Business. And their own data may raise new concerns about the rate of infection in their facilities.
The note, which appears to have been updated through May 18, further breaks down the departments, shifts and counties of residence of the 45 confirmed workers who had coronavirus. The granular details show the closeness that the company keeps records of the cases, despite choosing not to disclose this information to workers.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our equipment. We have reorganized a large number of scientists, technologists and employees of our data center to dedicate ourselves to the Covid-19 and ensure the security of our workforce, including thousands of people in our health and safety teams, ”Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman told CNN Business. Cheeseman added that “an in-depth site analysis is one of many tools that help us assess the full picture of our Covid-19-related buildings.”
Amazon, which did not deny the existence of the note, did not answer a question about whether it is collecting information similar to its other sites.
“We use a variety of data to closely monitor the safety of our buildings and there is strong evidence that our employees do not proliferate the virus at work; what we generally see is that the overall rate of infection and the increase or decrease in total cases is highly correlated with the overall infection rate for the community, “Cheeseman said in the statement. “Over the months of Covid-19, thousands of employees and partners have worked at our Shakopee site and we believe people are not spreading the virus at work given the robust security measures we have put in place.”
According to the note, Amazon works “regularly” with the Minnesota Department of Health and county health departments for positive cases. But the note also shows an important desire of workers for more information. In the first two weeks of May, according to the note, the Shakopee facility saw “64% of security comments demanding transparency in details about infected Covid [Amazon Associates], requesting information on shifts, total counts and more up-to-date information. ”
“This note is displayed [Amazon] he knows the details, but they have hidden it from us, “said Hibaq Mohamed, who has worked as an Amazon partner for more than three and a half years at the Shakopee facility and has advocated more security precautions.” I don’t mean to say, but this virus is deadly. ”
William Stolz, an Amazon partner at the Shakopee facility, told CNN Business that “the data coming out really supports everything workers have said over the past few months about the seriousness of the spread on Amazon “.
Amazon has seen a growing demand during the pandemic as people stay home and look at their products and services as a lifeline for basic household items. But it has also become the subject of increased scrutiny over the working conditions of its 110 performance centers across North America with 400,000 employees.
Amazon has said it shares with employees when there is a confirmed case in which they work, but workers have said the communication has been inconsistent. For example, an Amazon spokesman previously confirmed to CNN Business that while it once included numerous confirmed cases when notifying workers, it stopped doing so because it didn’t think the number was useful.