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Amazon Shareholders Seek Disclosure on Firm’s COVID-19 Protection Plans

CNBC reported yesterday that a group of shareholders would be looking to bring the coronavirus to the forefront at Amazon’s shareholder meeting on Wednesday.
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Amazon’s business has seen significant growth over the past few weeks, as the coronavirus has continued to be a blessing amid nationwide lockdown rules.

While the e-commerce giant has made commitments to look after its front-line workers, a group of shareholders would like to know how it expects to do this.

Bezos Should Reveal Proper Details

CNBC reported yesterday that a group of shareholders would be looking to bring the coronavirus to the forefront at Amazon’s shareholder meeting on Wednesday. The group, which involves pension funds in New York, Illinois, and California, will reportedly push for Amazon to release more data concerning its means of handling the pandemic.

The move is coming as Amazon’s methods of handling the coronavirus and worker safety is drawing significant criticism. Several individuals and authorities have called for the company to do better by its warehouse workers. Given that they’ve been one of the vital forces behind the firm’s surge, they deserve better treatment.

To be fair, Jeff Bezos did address the issue some weeks ago. While presenting the company’s financial results for the first quarter, he explained that Amazon would be investing about $4 billion in company profits from the quarter into Q2 and helping to protect warehouse workers from the pandemic.

However, the shareholders would like to know more about what plans the firm is now putting in place to ensure this.

Affected Worker Estimates Remain Unknown

At press time, eight Amazon warehouse workers have lost their lives due to the virus. However, the firm still hasn’t revealed the exact detail of workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 – a move that has drawn suspicion that it’s hiding something.

Earlier this month, 13 state attorneys general wrote to the Seattle-based e-commerce giant, asking it to reveal the total number of employees who have tested positive.

“We have requested but not received information on how many of the Companies’ workers have been infected with COVID-19, and how many have died from it…Please provide a state-by-state breakdown for each Company with this information.”

However, some estimates have started to show. Last week, a report from the New York Times highlighted the situation at a warehouse in Pennsylvania, which reportedly has over 100 workers who tested positive for coronavirus. Days later, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that no less than 30 Amazon workers at a warehouse in Kenosha had COVID-19.

Still, it’s impossible to have an exact number – or even a ballpark – since Amazon is keeping a tight lid on things. The company has also come under scrutiny for mass firings, as more warehouse workers take to protesting their rights. Several workers who have openly condemned Amazon for its handling of their safety have been laid off – a move that drew an inquiry from various members of Congress.

If these shareholders have their way, Amazon will reveal how it plans to move forward.

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Based in the UK, Jimmy is an economic researcher with outstanding hands-on and heads-on experience in Macroeconomic finance analysis, forecasting and planning. He has honed his skills having worked cross-continental as a finance analyst, which gives him inter-cultural experience. He currently has a strong passion for regulation and macroeconomic trends as it allows him peek under the global bonnet to see how the world works. jimmy@moneycheck.com

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