Amazon to permanently allow phones in its warehouses after tornadoes, petition

What just happened? Amazon has decided to make the temporary lifting of the phone ban on warehouse floors permanent. The company has told employees that warehouse employees will be allowed to keep their mobile phones with them while working, in line with one of the demands put forward by Staten Island workers who unionized earlier this month.

Amazon temporarily lifted the ban on cell phones in its warehouses during the pandemic to allow workers to keep in touch with their families, but intended to bring the ban back in January 2022.

Amazon has faced a lot of resistance to its plans to ban cell phones again after a tornado hit one of its warehouses in Illinois in December, killing six contractors and prompting calls for a temporary suspension of the policy to make it permanent. Hundreds of Amazon employees in warehouses organized petition demanding that they be allowed to keep their devices with them during work hours. “Taking our phones is not security, it is control over us,” it said.

The warehouse collapse has caused Amazon to put the reinstatement of the phone ban on hold until further notice. The company has now made the suspension permanent at its facilities around the world.

“We recognize the desire of employees to store their mobile phones indoors, and the past two years have demonstrated that we can do this safely,” Amazon said in an email to employees. bloomberg. “Therefore, we are making the temporary telephone policy permanent throughout the world in all of our operating facilities.”

Motherboard notes that workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, who unionized in early April, have made permanent cell service one of their campaign demands. Responding to the news that the work stoppage would become permanent, the worker who organized the petition said: “It’s good, but it doesn’t cost them anything, and what we really need is a raise. Gasoline has risen. The rent has gone up. Everyone knows that stretching money is getting harder and harder. We want to raise the salary cap by $2 and the overall raise by $3.”

On Tuesday, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a hazard warning. warning letter Amazon due to warehouse collapse. The agency said its inspection found items that raised “concerns about the potential risk to employees during severe weather emergencies” but found no irregularities or references.

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