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New York accuses Amazon of backing down occupational safety



(Reuters) – The state prosecutor in New York on Tuesday asked a state judge to appoint a supervisor to monitor the safety of workers at an Amazon.com Inc. compliance center in New York City, citing the retailer's alleged restoration of security against covid

Letitia James, the Attorney General, also wants a court order demanding the re-employment of Christian Smalls, who Amazon fired for violating a paid quarantine by leading a protest in March 2020 over the conditions at the Staten Ö facility.

Ms. James, a Democrat running for governor of New York, sued Amazon in February in a New York state court in Manhattan for its safety protocol for thousands of workers at the Staten Island facility and a distribution center in Queens.

She said that Amazon is valuing profit over security and "acting as if the pandemic is over" by rolling back security protocols even when the Omicron variant of the covid-1

9 virus threatens to increase transmission speeds.

The alleged restorations include making the Staten Island facility " "optional" mask for vaccinated workers while not requiring masks for unvaccinated workers and failing to maintain social distance.

In his motion for a preliminary injunction, James said the proposed supervisor would oversee upgraded cleaning, hygiene and social distancing. [19659002] "While the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths increases, recall "Amazon is protecting and packing more workers for its holiday rush," James said in his motion. "Amazon's ongoing – and exacerbated – failure to protect workers must be stopped."

Amazon said in a statement that it has taken a "comprehensive approach" to security in the context of covid-19.

"It is a disappointment. that the Attorney General is seeking to politicize the pandemic by requesting "emergency" now despite filing this lawsuit nine months ago, "Amazon said.

The Seattle-based company is appealing a judge's refusal in October to reject Ms James' lawsuit .

] Amazon reached a separate settlement with California on November 15 regarding allegations that they violated a state "right to know" law by hiding the number of covid-19 workers infected by warehouse workers and local health authorities.


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