Deadly tornado shows how companies value their employees, this week in the war on workers

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My colleague Gabe Ortiz has been following the story of workers at a Kentucky candle factory who were threatened with firing if they tried to escape a deadly tornado. Those Kentucky workers aren’t alone. 

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois were also told to keep working despite the weather, and say they lacked adequate safety training. Texts between a delivery driver for Amazon and a dispatcher show just how little value the company places on workers’ lives:

Driver: Tornado alarms are going off over here.

Dispatch: Just keep delivering for now. We have to wait for word from Amazon. If we need to bring people back, the decision will ultimately be up to them. I will let you know if the situation changes at all. I’m talking with them now about it.

Eight workers at the candle factory and six workers at the Amazon warehouse died. Because their employers decided that keeping them on the job was more important than protecting their lives, and the U.S. labor system is such that the workers felt they had no choice.


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