Amazon delivery driver says he was fired for asking about coronavirus precautions.

A contract delivery driver at an Amazon facility in Indiana alleges that he was fired by his employer for voicing concerns about coronavirus safety measures, in a case similar to other complaints against both Amazon and its third-party contractors by workers.
In this case, FAE Distributors,an independent company contracted by Amazon to deliver packages as a “Delivery Service partner”, operates at the Amazon warehouse in Gary, Indiana, where the company hires and trains workers to deliver packages.
In early April, employee Andre Kirk asked in the workforce’s group messaging channel if anyone had tested positive for coronavirus.

Vice’s Motherboard reports that Demoine Harvey, owner of FAE Distributors, told the group that no-one had tested positive, before privately messaging Mr Kirk and rebuking him.
Mr Harvey is reported to have said that the subject of testing was not a group concern but “the entire world concern”, and that Mr Kirk should direct his questions to him.

Mr Kirk shared those messages with the group chat, which was subsequently closed down.
A text sent to employees later that day from the company administrative coordinator, also the owner's wife, read: “During a pandemic the group chat can not be used to cause discord or further invoke panic and fear … the integrity and culture of FAE is and has always been aimed at being positive, supportive, and encouraging. There is no room for negativity especially now. We have to stand together or we fall apart.”
Mr Kirk was fired two days later.
In an email to Motherboard, Mr Harvey said: “FAE Distributors was launched in July 2019, and is proud to have provided over 200 jobs for Indiana residents. Like all companies, we have standards that we expect our team to adhere to, and have zero tolerance for ongoing misconduct or any actions that endanger the safety of our team or community.”

“Incidents of repeated misconduct and/or violations of company policies are the reason Mr Kirk’s employment was ended, nothing else.”
Mr Kirk was described as a problematic employee who had been reprimanded several times since he joined the company — Mr Kirk denies this characterisation.
Speaking to Motherboard, he claims that he was fired for “bogus reasons” and that when FAE said that the relationship was no longer beneficial it was because he had called them out.
Mr Kirk also maintains that he asked the question about positive tests because a co-worker had already tested positive and he was concerned as someone with a pre-existing health condition.

FAE claims that there was no medical documentation confirming a positive test at the time of Mr Kirk’s firing, but the next day workers were notified that an individual had tested positive.
Mr Kirk said that workers were also concerned about the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), which was not provided by the company until mid-April, after his firing and the news of the positive test result, according to text messages seen by Motherboard.

Workers say they feel betrayed by the haphazard way the company dealt with the onset of the coronavirus. Cases of Covid-19 began to rise sharply in Indiana in late March, peaking in late April. The state currently has 28,705 confirmed cases, and has recorded 1,678 official deaths from the virus.
Third-party contractors, small businesses dedicated to delivering packages for Amazon, have struggled to provide safety and sanitising equipment for their employees while also trying to maintain the terms of their contractual obligations to the online shopping giant.
Amazon has not commented on the specific case but has also been under fire for its own handling of worker safety at some facilities.
In a statement concerning the company's efforts to ensure employee safety during the pandemic, Timothy Carter, a spokesman for Amazon, said: "Our top concern is ensuring the health and safety of our employees, and we expect to invest approximately $4bn from April to June on Covid-related initiatives to get products to customers and keep employees safe."
He adds: "This includes spending more than $800m in the first half of the year on Covid-19 safety measures, with investments in personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning of our facilities, less efficient process paths that better allow for effective social distancing, higher wages for hourly teams, and developing our own Covid-19 testing capabilities."

Amazon delivery driver says he was fired for asking about coronavirus precautions. Amazon delivery driver says he was fired for asking about coronavirus precautions. Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 07:09 Rating: 5

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