Amazon have done well out of the pandemic. Very well. Over the last few weeks Amazon’s share price has rise by 50%; the personal wealth of its CEO Jeff Bezos (richest man in the world) has risen by $41 billion to $146 billion.
Anti-corporate greed blog sumofus.org have calculated that just 1% of Bezos’ fortune would cover two weeks’ sick pay for Amazon’s global workforce of over 798,000. A US Amazon employee earns on average $16.26 per hour.
Not only do Amazon not provide sick pay, on 1 May Amazon ended a policy allowing unlimited unpaid time off. According to the Guardian (7 May), in California, at least four warehouses have recorded cases of Covid-19.
SumofUs have installed a giant billboard outside Bezos’ Washington DC mansion accusing him of being a super spreader.
SumofUs are right. All bosses who refuse to pay full sick and isolation pay are contributing to the spread of the virus.
The “Safe and Equal” campaign (safeandequal.org) is agitating for full isolation and PPE where needed for all workers. This week it is also promoting a statement supporting Nadia Whittome MP’s stand on PPE in social care and for public ownership and public sector conditions in the sector.