E-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly facing criticism and scrutiny by the families of workers killed and injured when an Illinois warehouse collapsed during a tornado over its safety policies. The building collapse killed at least six Amazon employees, with the sister of one casualty saying: “I want them to answer for this, I want this to be a starting point of places taking the lives of their employees seriously and treating them as more than a number.”
Breitbart News previously reported that the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union criticized e-commerce giant Amazon, saying that workers should never have been asked to work during severe weather conditions that resulted in the roof of an Illinois warehouse collapsing, killing at least six workers.
Now, more are coming forward to criticize the company including the families of the six workers who were killed. The sister of one victim commented on social media: “This never would have happened if they cared about lives over productivity.”
Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in a statement that the company is “deeply saddened” by the deaths. One of the victims, Clayton Cope, 29, spoke to his family on the phone before the building in the town of Edwardsville, Illinois collapsed.
Clayton’s mother Carla said that she called her son to warn him about the incoming tornado. Carla told the NBC affiliate station KSDK: “We told him it looked like the storm was heading that way and that he needed to get to shelter.” Clayton reportedly told his mother he would first warn his co-workers.
Now many are beginning to raise questions about whether adequate shelter was available for workers, whether they were advised to go there immediately, and whether workers should have been in the warehouse at all during the weather warning.
David Kosiak, 26, who has worked at the facility for three months, commented: “I was just getting in the building and they started screaming, “Shelter in place!’ We were in the bathrooms. That’s where they sent us.”
He added: “It sounded like a train came through the building. The ceiling tiles came flying down. It was very loud. They made us shelter in place until we left — it was at least two-and-a-half hours in there.”
The sister of Clayton Cope told BBC News that from the conversation between her brother and her parents, he and the other workers were not immediately told to shelter after the first warning siren. “Everyone knows that all Amazon cares about is productivity,” Cope’s sister wrote on social media.
She added that she didn’t believe her brother would have died if the company “got them [the employees] to safety after the storm started to get bad and took it seriously.”
“No one would have been frantically getting to the shelter last minute and my brother wouldn’t have had to help people get to the shelter and put his life at risk,” she added. “I want them to answer for this, I want this to be a starting point of places taking the lives of their employees seriously and treating them as more than a number.”
Read more at BBC News here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address email@example.com