Alabama Amazon Workers Were Forced to Work as Mysterious Gas Filled Warehouse

Last week, on the 111th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (TTCF), a mysterious, smoky, gas filled an Amazon warehouse located in Bessemer, Alabama. According to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), workers didn’t know what the gas was; while workers on the third floor were asked to take unpaid time off and leave at around 1:30 pm Central time, people on other floors were kept working at their stations.

Workers evacuated the building by word of mouth after they first saw the gas on the second floor. the RWDSU said.

There were very few emergency vehicles outside. the roughly 850,000 square footfacility and workers were instructed to clock out. Night shift workers were ushered into work at 7 p.m., gas still being present.

The gas was later found to be vaporized petroleum. a dysfunctional compressor. It’s unclear if this could cause health issues.

“Everyone was very confused, and the lack of information made us feel very unsafe,” Amazon worker Isaiah Thomas saidShe expressed shock that employees were kept in their offices even after the third floor had been evacuated. “I don’t know what I was breathing in for that long, and I don’t know if it’s still in the air at work today either. I feel very unsafe and I wish management would treat us like humans and care about our safety in a real way.”

Amazon workers have contacted OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) about the incident at the warehouse. Nearly two years ago, the fulfillment center, also known as BHM1, was in the middle of a union campaign.

The company has disputed the RWDSU’s account of the incident, claiming that it evacuated workers and is paying them for their whole shift, though Amazon liedTo save face, I have spoken to the public before.

“Accidents happen, but there’s no reason why thousands of workers should have had to keep working breathing in what we thought was smoke for hours,” Thomas said. “Why is my health less important than a package getting shipped?”

Thomas pointed out that Amazon warehouses were filled with smoke only one day after the anniversary date of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.

The 1911 fire at Manhattan’s garment factory was among the deadliestThere were 146 victims of workplace incidents in the United States, most of them young immigrant women. The casualties were largely the fault of the factory’s owners, who regularly locked workers inside the building without access to stairs and exits; when a major fire broke out, workers were forced to jump out of windows in hopes of saving themselves.

OSHA was founded in late last year. launched an investigationAfter a tornado destroyed an Amazon warehouse, six people were killed and one was injured in Illinois. Workers claimed that the deaths occurred because of the tornado that struck an Amazon warehouse in Illinois. They were partly dueAmazon’s unsafe policies for employees prohibited them from carrying a cell phone while they work.

Stuart Appelbaum, president RWDSU, demanded that safety standards be improved in the wake of the incident. “Amazon knowingly kept workers at their stations for hours during the incident, failed to properly evacuate the facility, and told workers to go back to work before any clarity on the safety of the vapor in the air was known,” Appelbaum said.

“It is unconscionable that Amazon would keep workers at their stations when there is a known health and safety issue,” he continued. “Workers’ lives should never be put in jeopardy for profits, something Amazon has an inexcusable history of doing.”