Amazon has succumbed to pressure from staff, unions and government officials announcing plans to launch temperature checks and provide face masks for all staff.
Following a week of staff walkouts and the launch of an investigation by New York City’s commission on human rights, Amazon said it would roll out the new measures in the US and Europe by early next week, according to a Reuters report.
All locations will reportedly have surgical masks available for staff by early next week, and the ecommerce giant said it would start testing hundreds of thousands of staff a week using no-contact forehead thermometers.
Any employees with a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, or 38 degrees Celsius will be sent home with pay and will not be able to return until they’ve gone three days without a fever.
Furthermore, it will use machine learning software to monitor cameras at its 700-plus facilities in the US and Europe to determine whether employees are exercising social distancing while on shift.
In the US staff at least 19 sites have tested positive for COVID-19, while reported emerged yesterday that Amazon was deep cleaning its warehouse in Fife after a staff member contracted the virus.
These growing infections and Amazon’s response until now led to two staff walkouts in the US last week, while even more took place across Europe, including Italy and France.
This comes as Amazon struggles under the pressure of significantly increased demand for online orders as people are forced to stay at home.
It is in the process of hiring 100,000 staff to manage the work load, and announced on Thursday that it had already hired 80,000 and planned to dish out $350 million in pay rises for those continuing to work.