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Amazon announces death of employee from controversial Staten Island facility
Dave Lee in San Francisco
A worker at an Amazon facility in Staten Island, New York, has died from coronavirus, the company has confirmed, bringing to three the total number of its employees killed by Covid-19.
The Staten Island facility — known to staff as JFK8 — had become a focus of worker activism after the virus spread among Amazon’s vast logistics operation.
Workers at the warehouse were informed about the employee’s death on Monday evening. He has not been named.
A spokeswoman for Amazon said the man was last on site on April 5, and tested positive for the virus on April 11. The man’s family informed Amazon of his death on Monday.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of an associate at our site in Staten Island,” the spokeswoman said. “His family and loved ones are in our thoughts, and we are supporting his fellow colleagues.”
At least three Amazon workers are now known to have died from coronavirus. Last week, it was reported that a worker in Tracy, California, had died from complications related to Covid-19, while another worker in Hawthorne, in the south of the state, died last month.
In March, a small number of workers staged a walkout at the Staten Island site. One of them, Christian Smalls, was later fired.
That action, and conditions at Amazon facilities more broadly, are currently being investigated by New York’s state attorney general, Letitia James.
Amazon has previously said it has undertaken an unprecedented effort to secure protective gear and take other measures to keep its employees safe, at an expected cost of around $4bn in the current quarter alone.