Workers and Environmentalist Demand Good Jobs and Clear Air from Amazon
We can’t afford Prime Day - We need Justice, Clean Air and Safe Jobs
On Prime Day, Worker and Environmental Groups Launch Air Quality Testing Initiative at Amazon Facilities, Announce that Amazon Has the Largest Number of Reported OSHA Violations of Any Corporation in NJ.
(Elizabeth) – Today, as part of a national day of action by Athena, Make the Road NJ, Clean Water Action, workers and community members rallied in front of an Elizabeth, NJ Amazon facility to demand the corporation protect worker safety and take steps to address their impact on community health. These actions commence on the start of Prime Day, Amazon’s largest sale event. Participating organizations launched an air quality testing program to measure the impact of Amazon’s trucks and vans on the local environment and also unveiled data that showed that, based on analysis of closed OSHA cases, Amazon received more COVID related health and safety complaints than any other corporation in New Jersey.
Amazon is becoming the largest employer in New Jersey. Throughout the pandemic, Amazon’s profits have skyrocketed, while workers report unsafe conditions. 19,000 Amazon workers have tested positive for COVID across the country. Workers have been fired after raising concerns about healthy workplaces.
At the same time, more Amazon facilities in New Jersey means more trucks in our neighborhoods, more pollution, more health harms (e.g. asthma) for both workers and local residents. This is especially troubling as Amazon truck routes go through communities that are already disproportionately impacted by multiple sources of pollution and corresponding illness now made worse and life threatening by the Covid pandemic.
"Amazon's business model imposes environmental and health injustices on nearby residents and Amazon workers who are primarily low wage, people of color," stated Amy Goldsmith, NJ State Director, Clean Water Action. "Given its worldwide corporate wealth, Amazon can and must speed up its electrification of goods movement along the entire supply chain to clean the air and create a healthier workplace from production to last mile delivery."
"As a resident of Newark, Amazon's plan for Shipment Zero and a Sustainable Future, is a weak plan that encourages suppliers to look for ways to minimize the impact on the environment. Workers and residents need Amazon to demand zero emissions today, “stated Kim Gaddy, NJ Environmental Justice Organizer, Clean Water Action. “Amazon’s unchecked monopoly power allows them to prey on us, Black and brown workers, neighborhoods and small businesses”.
“Our communities are full of beautiful, hardworking people. Amazon is invasive and does not think about our communities, our workers or our environment. Given their sky rocket profits, we demand that Amazon at the very least be a good neighbor and a good employer to be in our communities. We deserve environmental justice”, stated Maria Lopez-Nunez, Deputy Director, Organizing and Advocacy, Ironbound Community Corporation.
“As Amazon facilities continue to open up across New Jersey, every day I worry about the health of my kids and my community. Amazon has reaped billions in wealth during the pandemic and become the largest employer in New Jersey but has failed to protect worker safety and the health of our communities. We can’t afford Prime Day. We demand clean air for our families and good jobs for our communities,” Tania Gonzalez, member of Make the Road NJ.
Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. www.cleanwater.org/nj
Athena works on delivering democracy by taking on a primary impediment to a democracy that represents us all and an economy that works for everyone. Athena is a growing coalition of local, state-wide and national organizations tackling Amazons economic power, scope and operations, in particular: antimonopoly remedies, local and regional governance, data abuse, especially the racism of surveillance technologies, environmental and climate injustices, and working conditions. www.athenaforall.org