Published: Tue, March 24, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

Jeff Bezos stock sales before coronavirus earned him a fortune

Jeff Bezos stock sales before coronavirus earned him a fortune

Amazon has come under scrutiny as several of its workers have tested positive for COVID-19. And, in addition to spotlighting measures like Amazon increasing the salary of its hourly workers (who are still dutifully manning the warehouses which we're all purchasing from right now) and hiring to get 100,000 new roles, Bezos put out a direct contact in his memo to the scores of newly-unemployed workers as a result of the virus.

Bezos, in his note, stated that he has increased the cleaning work for his company and has implemented social distance measures.

They further raised concerns about a shortage of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available to warehouse workers, as well as a report that Amazon is not providing warehouse workers enough time to practice basic sanitary habits.

Amazon said it has been planning to give workers paid time off for some time and that the decision wasn't made in response to the actions of any one group.

"Any failure of Amazon to keep its workers safe does not just put their employees at risk, it puts the entire country at risk. The virus that causes covid-19 can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel", they wrote.

In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson called the accusations about worker safety "simply unfounded" and characterized its workers as "heroes", as opposed to people off of whose labor it is-as the senators noted-profiting during the pandemic. We're providing a vital service to people everywhere, especially to those, like the elderly, who are most vulnerable.

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The company also claims it's nixed stand-up meetings during shifts.

Bezos warned that due to the economic impact caused by the CCP virus, the situation is likely to get worse before it improves.

"The coronavirus effect has been devastating to the market, Bezos writes, adding that he anticipates people who've been laid-off from restaurants and bars, among other jobs, will use to work in Amazon" until they could return to the jobs they had".

The letter writers asked a number of questions of Bezos, including clarifying what preventative steps Amazon is taking to protect its employees against the outbreak, asking whether the company would pay for testing its workers and whether the company will provide benefits like paid sick leave and hazard pay during this unsafe time.

The senators have asked Amazon for a reply by no later than March 26.

The group of U.S. democrats also claimed that workers faced troubling conditions within the Amazon warehouses, and that managers were regularly conducting stand-up meetings with staff that heightened the risk of infection, whilst it was also disclosed that there was a lack of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.

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