Earlier yesterday morning, an Amazon associate was killed in a shooting at a warehouse in Little Rock, AR. While the incident is still under investigation, the tragedy emphasizes the growing epidemic of gun violence in the workplace and the risk of violence workers face while on the clock, even at billion-dollar corporations like Amazon.
Bianca Agustin, co-Executive Director of United for Respect (UFR), a workers’ rights organization that has been fighting for improved safety measures and working conditions for retail workers, released the following statement:
“Yesterday, Amazon workers in Little Rock and across the country woke up to the news that a gunman had taken the life of a colleague who was on the job. Our hearts go out to all those impacted by this senseless tragedy.
This is not an isolated incident: these tragedies continue to happen year after year in the workplace. Associates are seeing horrific violence take place while on the job, including at places like Walmart and Dollar General, and yet executives continue to sit back and do nothing. Just this year, Walmart executives voted down a proposal for an independent review of its safety practices related to gun violence.
Amazon claims its vision is to become “Earth’s Safest Place to Work,” but the truth is Amazon associates are injured at twice the rate as other warehouses and face grueling working conditions. Violence on the job should not be another worry. If Amazon is truly committed to making their warehouses the safest place to work, it’s time they use their vast resources to ensure their workers are protected on the job.
Yesterday’s tragedy in Little Rock must be a wakeup call for Amazon executives, and leadership at all major retailers, to enact real change to improve the safety of their workforce. Workers’ lives are not expendable, and no associate should clock into work worrying they may not make it home to their families. We need meaningful safety measures in place — now.”