Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the retail industry in the United States, especially online sales platforms, has become one of the few industries that insist on operating, and the profits of many giant companies have soared.
However, several media recently reported that the employees of retail giants have recently been infected with COVID-19 on a large scale, and the U.S. health department is currently investigating this.
In addition, these enterprises have also been exposed to ignore the safety of employees’ lives, and even withhold on the treatment of employees, which has attracted widespread criticism from public opinion.
The media believes that while making huge profits, large enterprises have failed to fulfill their social responsibilities.
Large-scale infection among retail workers
The infection situation of retail workers is very alarming.
According to the Los Angeles Times, more than 11,800 retail employees in Los Angeles County alone have contracted the novel coronavirus, including 349 employees at the warehouse of U.S. retail giant Target, 263 employees at the Home Depot warehouse, and Costco (C. 383 employees in the ostco) warehouse and 260 employees in the Amazon physical store.
The situation in Los Angeles County is not an exception. Recently, large-scale infections of retail employees have occurred in many places, including Washington, New Jersey, Tennessee and New York.
Recently, 173 employees tested positive for COVID-19 at Costco warehouse in Washington, Washington. In addition, an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey was forced to close because several employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The company ignores epidemic prevention regulations
The large-scale outbreak of the coronavirus among employees is no accident. The media pointed out that most of the reasons behind it are that large companies do not pay attention to epidemic prevention and ignore the life safety of employees.
During the epidemic, many large U.S. companies were exposed to the worrying working environment, including retail giants such as Amazon and Target.
Amazon employs more workers as demand for logistics rises during the pandemic A large number of workers have to work in limited space and have difficulty maintaining social distancing, causing the risk of infection to double.
However, Amazon did not actively solve this problem. Until after many large-scale infection outbreaks, Amazon only symbolically closed several warehouses and even fired an employee protesting against the crowded working environment.
Target warehouse employees have had similar experiences. In an interview recently, a staff member of a Target warehouse in New York State said that since July, the company has arranged excessive workload for its employees.
A large number of employees work overtime in a narrow space, making it difficult to maintain safe social distancing.
In addition, even some workers are still required to continue to work after being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. More than three-quarters of the city’s employees at large businesses who were diagnosed in November are still working, according to a recent report from the Shelby County Health Department in Tennessee.
The media pointed out that during the epidemic, major retail giants were operating at full capacity, and enterprises did not hesitate to let their employees continue to work under unsafe conditions in order to make more profits.
The company made huge profits, but employees were starving.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the U.S. economy hard, and a large number of poor Americans can’t guarantee even the most basic food and housing needs.
At the same time, large enterprises have been able to go against the trend and achieve significant growth. Shares of Amazon and Walmart have soared 70% and 36% respectively since the pandemic.
Among them, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s total wealth increased by $75.6 billion, which is 42 times the total compensation paid by Amazon to its more than 1 million employees in 2020.
However, employees of these large enterprises have not benefited from the surge in market capitalization. While enterprises make huge profits, workers who risk work are facing an existential crisis.
Bloomberg reported that in nine states in the United States, more than 4,000 Amazon employees need food stamps to support food and clothing, 70% of whom are full-time workers.
In response, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), a well-known Democratic congressman in the United States, accused Amazon claiming to provide a large number of jobs for society, but employees can hardly get basic economic security.
The media believes that the huge profits of large enterprises are in sharp contrast to the worrying survival of employees, and the imblance of government policies has an indelible responsibility. Although the second round of stimulus bill has greatly reduced corporate taxes, it is controversial when discussing the distribution of relief funds to the general public.
Senator Bernie Sanders, a well-known American politician and Democratic Party, said that Amazon made huge profits without paying a penny of federal taxes, while a large number of Americans are experiencing life difficulties and even displacement, and lawmakers are indifferent to it, which is extremely hypocritical.