Lead Forensics

Amazon calls for warehouse employees to be essential workers

Amazon has sent a letter to the US government to request its workers are given essential worker status, which would make them a priority to receive the coronavirus vaccination.

The warehouse giant employs over 27,500 people in Britain and 800,000 workers in the United States. This request highlights that Amazon sees the vaccine as vital to protect its staff and keep its warehouses open.

The UK, like the USA, does not class warehouse workers as members of the priority group for vaccination. The current priority groups include frontline health workers, the elderly, care home residents and the clinically vulnerable. As of yet, there has not been a call from UK warehouse owners to include warehouse workers in the priority groups, and there has been no report of Amazon sending a letter to the government in the UK.

After the initial priority groups have been vaccinated, workers who are at increased exposure to the virus will receive the vaccine. The government hasn’t yet detailed who qualifies under this, but it is thought to include transport workers, the military, teachers, public servants and first responders. Warehouse workers are not expected to be included in the next priority group. Eventually, however, all of the UK population will be eligible to receive the vaccine.

In the meantime, warehouses continue to implement measures to protect workers, including the wearing of masks, adhering to social distancing and promoting increased hygiene. Storage trolleys, packing tables and other equipment that workers touch is regularly cleaned with sanitizer.

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