Rage Boils Over at Amazon Sites Over Coronavirus Risks

In France, Italy, Spain and Poland, workers say they have little choice but to keep working despite the risk of coronavirus infection.

Amazon faces a rash of strikes and protests at sites across Europe as warehouse workers lash out over what they say are gruelling labor conditions, minimal protection and the risk of infection after several employees tested positive for coronavirus.

The outrage in Italy, Spain and France — among the countries worst-hit by the virus — is testing the e-commerce giant’s ability to keep operating its labor-intensive warehouses amid surging demand and radical containment measures.

Like other tech giants, Amazon has ordered office staff to work from home and abide by social distancing rules rolled out in many countries. But at the vast warehouses where the company processes orders for shipment, known as fulfilment centers, workers are still expected to show up and in many cases work overtime to meet exploding demand — including in Italy, which is currently the outbreak’s global epicenter and where millions of people are under orders to remain home.

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