As an investigation into Amazon’s health and safety measures continues, the online giant prepares to reveal profits tomorrow that could be as much as 25 per cent higher than the same quarter last year, according to Wall Street Estimates.
Amazon New York’s attorney general Lititia James has criticised Amazon’s health and safety measures in a letter sent to the retail giant last week.
Lititia James’ letter was sent in response to Amazon firing a whistleblower warehouse worker, Chris Smalls, “to silence his complaints”. James’ letter criticised the health and safety measures taken by Amazon in response to the Covid-19 pandemic as “so inadequate that they may violate several provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act”.
James said the dismissal raised concerns “that Amazon may have discharged (Smalls) in order to silence his complaints and send a threatening message to other employees that they should also keep quiet about any health and safety concerns.”
Meanwhile, Amazon has maintained Smalls was dismissed because he came into work to lead the protest, despite being told to stay at home for two weeks with pay after coming into close contact with an employee known to have contracted the virus.
Amazon has faced further criticism from authorities over its safety practices during the pandemic. There have been weeks of staff protests, a number of controversial dismissals and New York mayor Bill De Blasio ordered an investigation to explore whether or not Amazon has violated human rights.
The investigation and concerns around Amazon’s health and safety response to the outbreak, come as the online giant prepares to announce record earnings later this week. Amazon is expected to release financial figures tomorrow (Thursday 30 April), which reveal steeply rising expenses due to rapidly increased staff levels and near record earnings thanks to a surge in demand.
Amazon’s 15 per cent wage raise, launched “in recognition of (employees’) incredible contribution” is expected to have cost the an extra $700 million, amounting to and extra $1.5bn per quarter.
Plus, with more people on furlough, and rising unemployment, Amazon Prime subscriptions are likely to have been impacted, which will have a bearing on Amazon’s profits.
However, according to Wall Street Estimates, Amazon is expected to post revenues 25 per cent higher than the same quarter last year.