Nearly 20,000 Amazon employees tested positive for the coronavirus between March and September.
The American web store giant announced the infection numbers in a blog, after criticism from employees and politicians that the company does not provide enough disclosure about corona cases in the workplace.
A total of 19,816 of Amazon employees from “the front line,” that is, working in delivery, distribution centres or Whole Foods supermarkets, have been infected. Out of a total of 1.4 million employees, this is a percentage of 1.4 percent, according to the tech company.
This spring, workers and unions in multiple countries strongly criticized Amazon for doing too little to prevent coronavirus outbreaks in busy distribution centres.
The company itself emphasizes investing heavily in testing. By November, the company wants to have enough capacity of its own to conduct 50,000 corona tests every day at 650 locations.
According to Amazon, the published numbers indicate that the contamination rate among its gigantic workforce is below average. If the same percentage of Amazon employees were infected as in society as a whole, the corona rate at the internet giant should be 42 percent higher.
Nevertheless, Amazon has been criticized. “This is a very high number for a company that has long downplayed how many employees have become ill,” said Deborah Berkowitz, the former head of the US federal labour inspection.
Amazon is now challenging other large companies also to release figures about the number of infections among staff. “This information would be more valuable if there were comparable data from major employers. This availability allows us to measure the progress we are making. ”