Amazon Asks For Donations to Pay COVID-19 Workers’ Sick Leave

(TELESUR) – As the coronavirus pandemic continues its spread across the United States (U.S.), ranking the country as the third most affected in the world, the multi-billionaire company Amazon is petitioning public donations to pay sick leave for its employees, Popular Information has reported Tuesday.

Amazon, owned by the richest man on the planet Jeff Bezos, has one of the tightest paid sick leave policies among U.S. big corporations.

Though it said it would provide two weeks of sick leave to “all Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine,” the company’s large contract workforce, which delivers packages and carries out other risky tasks, is left behind.

The company is not providing any sick leave at all for these workers, even if they test positive for COVID-19. Instead, they have to apply to the “Amazon Relief Fund” and ask for a grant to cover their sick leave.

Amazon donated US$25 million to the fund and is now demanding donations to add to the pot.

While much of the economy in the U.S. is facing a downturn, Amazon is doing better than ever. It has announced it is hiring 100,000 additional workers to try to meet surging demand. In 2019, it obtained more than US$280 billion in revenue and US$11.9 billion in profits.

Last year, it became one of the most valuable corporations, exceeding US$1 trillion in valuation.

Yet Bezos’ company is soliciting donations to pay for workers’ sick leave, instead of paying itself for those who contracted the deadly and highly contagious COVID-19 while working for Amazon.