Amazon warehouse

Amazon Worker Dies at DCY9

November 20, at an Amazon warehouse called DCY9 in Orange, Connecticut, an Amazon employee fell to the floor and began bleeding from his head. An hour later, he was pronounced dead in an ambulance while en route to the hospital. The specific events leading to the fall have not yet been disclosed. We do know that staff at the facility are not explicitly told that they are allowed to take breaks, and that any time off task leads to scrutiny from management. Management had stopped giving out water on the floor, with the excuse that it wasn’t necessary in the colder months.

The truth is that it is. In fact, it is just as easy to get dehydrated in cold conditions as in hot ones. This individual was just four days into working there as a new employee, and the easier tasks at the facility are usually assigned to managers and senior employees.

Despite the death in the facility, Amazon had the employees continue working, with the following short announcement made on the morning of November 22: “One of our associates has passed away and we are offering grief counseling.”

Management withheld information from the dead employee’s coworkers, declining to acknowledge the name of the individual, the fact that his accident took place at the facility, or any details about the incident whatsoever. Whether there was a complicating personal health factor or not, we can be sure that the arduous work conditions at the facility contributed to his death.

In conditions where break times are extremely limited and workers are not given any say in the running of the facility, it is no surprise that workplace accidents and deaths are common. This June in Illinois, Roger Kieca died on the job, and Amazon denied any links between workplace conditions and his death. In Indiana this May, Caes Gruesbeck died while trying to repair an overhead conveyor. He was in his first year of employment at Amazon. In the summer of 2022, four employees died in the space of a month.

At Amazon, profit comes before safety and human lives. Employees perform taxing labor under stressful conditions and intense scrutiny. We can only fight back against Amazon’s exploitation and oppression of its employees with class struggle. It is the workers that make Amazon the fifth richest company in the world. As struggles to unionize persist at Amazon facilities around the country, workers must unite and stand in solidarity to fight not only Amazon, but all companies who are willing to risk their employees’ lives for profit.

In the final analysis, this death, like many others, was caused by the capitalist economic system, and the fight for workers’ rights and safety can only be resolved by a socialist revolution that overthrows capitalism and expropriates Amazon and all companies like it.

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