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Amazon Asked by States for Info on Worker Deaths, Safety Practices

600 Amazon workers have tested positive for COVID-19, and several have died, according to media reports.
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Attorneys general for several U.S. states are requesting more information from Amazon on conditions and the company's warehouses. 

AGs from 13 states, led by Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, sent a letter to Amazon on Tuesday asking for details of health and safety measures, compliance with state paid sick leave laws and information about worker infections and deaths from COVID-19. Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report shares fell 2.2% on Tuesday to $2,357.22.

The letter expressed concern over news reports of inadequate conditions and sick leave policies at Amazon warehouses, worker infections and deaths and retaliation against employees who called out unsafe practices. 

COVID-19 cases have been reported at several U.S. Amazon warehouses, including as many as 30 cases at a warehouse in New Jersey. A 60 Minutes investigation found that 600 Amazon workers had tested positive for coronavirus, including six who later died.

“Amazon and Whole Foods must take every possible step to protect their employees and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Healey in a statement. “We again call on these companies to provide assurances that they are complying with state laws and federal guidance aimed at keeping essential workers safe during this crisis.”

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Tim Bray, a longtime executive at Amazon, quit "in dismay" last week over the company's dismissal of workers who spoke out against conditions at warehouses. 

"Amazon is exceptionally well-managed and has demonstrated great skill at spotting opportunities and building repeatable processes for exploiting them. It has a corresponding lack of vision about the human costs of the relentless growth and accumulation of wealth and power," Bray wrote in an open letter. 

In response to increased demand for home delivery, Amazon is in the process of hiring 175,000 new workers. 

Amazon shares have risen 24% year to date. 

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