Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is showing he can be a very hands-on boss. He made a surprise visit to an Amazon fulfillment center and a Whole Foods store. This visit was mainly due to the numerous calls from the com[any to better protect them against the coronavirus.
This visit which was on Wednesday happened as Bezos and Amazon have recently been facing some criticism from warehouse workers, Whole Foods employees, union officials and legislators about a lack of protective measures for employees who continue to work during the coronavirus outbreak.
The company tweeted a video of Bezos visiting the facilities, with a face mask on. Bezos is shown following protocol by getting his temperature checked as he enters the fulfillment center. After that, He began a chat with the warehouse workers as he walked through the facility. He also tours a Whole Foods location where he thanked employees throughout the store, joking that he couldn’t shake their hand.
Today’s visits by our founder and CEO @JeffBezos to say thank you to Amazon fulfillment center and Whole Foods employees. We’re all incredibly proud of the thousands of our colleagues working on the front lines to get critical goods to people everywhere during this crisis. pic.twitter.com/dygb345wDM
— Amazon News (@amazonnews) April 9, 2020
Bezos has maintained a relatively low profile amid the heightened criticism. Last month, he sent a memo to employees in which he praised them for continuing to work amid the outbreak and said he was working to obtain additional face masks for workers.
Numerous protest has been carried out over the last week because of safety measures taken to prevent them from being infected from the virus were ignored. First of those happened last week, three Amazon warehouses in Staten Island, New York; Detroit; and Illinois walked off the job demanding that the facilities be closed due to positive cases of coronavirus reported in the company,
And also, Workers at the facility in Staten Island, known as JFK8, held another protest on Monday after Chris Smalls, a worker who organized the protest was fired. Smalls said he was fired for leading the protest. Amazon said he was fired for violating social distancing guidelines.
Amazon has downplayed the walkouts, saying only a small percentage of workers at the facilities participated in the protests and there was no disruption to operations.
The company has announced a number of new safety measures at its facilities in recent weeks after the protest. Amazon increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning at all of its sites and requires that employees sanitize and clean their work stations at the beginning and end of every shift. It has also started taking employees’ temperatures when they report to work and has supplied them with face masks.