After a 61-year-old man died of a heart attack while on the job, it’s become a case of Amazon vs. its employees. The sad story happened at an Amazon warehouse in Colorado Springs, Colo. The man who tragically died on the job, Rick Jacobs, did so right before a shift change.
That is when Amazon managers made some very questionable decisions, employees say. Rather than waiting for rescue personnel and putting things on hold, managers set up a makeshift cardboard barrier around the deceased to block off the area, a witness said, via The Guardian.
Amazon denied cardboard boxes were used, but did admit to keeping managers stationed near the body to make sure other employees did not approach.
“Finding out what had happened after walking through there had made me feel very uncomfortable, as there is a blatant disregard of human emotions at this facility,” one employee said, via The Guardian. “Management could have released those employees affected by offering [voluntary time off], so that they did not need to use their own time, but nope, that did not happen.”
The employee went on to allege that management failed to let them know where the incident occurred — and as it turned out, it was right where some workers enter the building for their shift.
“No one should have been told to work alongside a dead body, particularly after witnessing it,” the employee said. “Day shift comes in at 7 a.m. or 7.30 a.m., and we were never informed until we arrived to where it had occurred.
“No warnings before walking into the building. No on-site counselor. Simply a flyer put out days later informing us of how to receive mental health counseling.”
Another employee said she wasn’t even officially informed that there was a body in the warehouse until she heard it from another worker. Management never told her, she said.
“Instantly I was pissed that we’re all business as usual and there’s a human being lying dead in the outbound area and I have to hear about it in the break room,” said the worker, via The Guardian. “Why is it that we are still working as usual when someone is dead downstairs? I was angry that they think that our lives don’t matter, that they’re going to sweep me out of the way to get a package out.”
Mostly, it seems, employees just seemed stunned that Amazon has no protocols in place for this sort of thing, they allege
“What gets me is the lack of respect for human life. We shut down for maintenance. Do you think we could not have had a little respect and shut down long enough to at least get the body out of the facility and clean up after him before people are milling around like nothing’s happening?” an anonymous employee said.
“It’s not the first death at an Amazon facility. Amazon is a huge corporation. There should be protocols. It doesn’t matter if this is the first death or the 10th death. There should be protocols on how you handle that. Maybe while the investigation is going on, you don’t let the day shift in, you postpone it until at least until the body’s gone.”