ALU president Chris Smalls said on Twitter that the fire was especially dangerous because Amazon has a “lack of safety drills.”

By Sharon Zhang, Truthout

Hundreds of Amazon workers waged a work stoppage in protest after a fire broke out in their warehouse in Staten Island, New York, on Monday, according to the union that represents the workers.

Union at Amazon

According to Amazon Labor Union (ALU), over 650 employees began protesting at around 8 pm on Monday, saying that they could still smell fumes from the fire that had broken out in a trash compactor earlier that day. Night shift workers were taken to the break room when the fire broke out, and refused to leave after they were told by managers to return to work, the union said; according to ALU leadersmanagers threatened workers with write-ups if they continued their protest.

The work stoppage lasted nearly three hours, according to ALU, and a large portion of the workers marched into the manager’s office to demand that workers get sent home with pay. Workers also protested an offer of 25 cent raises that the company had made in the past week — which the union called “insulting” and said would amount to a pay cut due to inflation — and the fact that workers at the warehouse have still yet to have their union recognized by the $1.2 trillion company.

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