Amazon Employees Reportedly Forced to Remain at Work During Deadly Tornados Deserve Justice

Target: Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh

Goal: Cite Amazon and Mayfield Consumer Products for their apparent role in deaths of fourteen workers.

Holiday shipments are not more important than human lives.

Except, that is, to Amazon and Mayfield Consumer Products when the holiday season overlapped with deadly tornadoes Friday, Dec 10. Reportedly, as a result of cruel negligence on both companies’ parts, at least 14 people have lost their lives: 8 workers in the Mayfield, Kentucky candle factory, and 6 at an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois.

These workers should have never been working under the shadow of these tornadoes. They should have been safe at home with their families and loved ones. Instead, these corporations allegedly put their lives at risk to selfishly force their own productivity deadlines, and 14 employees paid the ultimate price.

Apparently, Mayfield’s candle factory “had been ‘going 24/7’ to meet Christmastime candle demand. While that is ridiculous and exploitative even under normal circumstances, when 100 overworked employees were forced to shelter at the factory as the deadliest tornado in Kentucky’s history ripped through Mayfield, it became even worse. The factory walls collapsed, the entire structure crumbled like sand, and the injured and dead were left in darkness, pinned under five feet of rubble.

Over at the Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, the industry giant apparently did little to shield its employees from danger. One employee texted his girlfriend that Amazon wouldn’t let them leave until the storm blew over, even though their home was a 10-minute drive away and he could have made it home before the tornado touched down. He died when the warehouse’s concrete walls collapsed in on him, leaving behind his girlfriend and their two children.

The OSH Act of 1970 states that “a serious violation shall be deemed to exist in a place of employment if there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a condition.” Forcing people to work during a deadly weather event clearly fits into this definition.

Sign the petition and demand that the U.S. Department of Labor cites Amazon and Mayfield Consumer Products for their alleged breach of the OSH Act and the tragic, preventable deaths of their employees!


Dear Secretary Walsh,

On Friday, December 10, 14 workers in Kentucky and Illinois lost their lives. Eight were buried under the Mayfield, Kentucky candle factory, and six were crushed beneath the walls of the Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois. All these deaths were seemingly entirely avoidable and were reportedly caused by both companies forcing their employees to shelter in place at the factory and warehouse respectively.

These acts directly contradict the OSH Act of 1970 and constitute serious violations. These companies should not be allowed to literally work their employees to death, on top of seemingly exploitative conditions in the best of times.

Please, cite Amazon and Mayfield Consumer Products for their apparent breach of the OSH Act of 1970 and seek justice for the tragic and seemingly avoidable deaths of their employees.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tedder

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