Amazon is under fire because a slew of tornadoes in the US state of Illinois destroyed a department store and killed six people. The relatives wondered about the procedure followed when it became clear that a potentially dangerous storm was on the way.
How quickly did executives at the Amazon department store in Edwardsville intervene when it became clear that a devastating tornado was on the way? That is the question that some relatives of the six fatalities, who died when the roof collapsed, are asking themselves. One of them is Rachel Clayton, who lost her brother in the storm.
“This would never have happened if they put human lives above productivity,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “Everyone knows that Amazon only cares about that. If the company had immediately rescued all employees as soon as it was clear that the tornado was coming, my brother would not have died. No one would have had to go looking for a place to hide last minute, and my brother wouldn’t have had to help people get there. I want answers from them. They need to take this more seriously.”
Many of the employees took shelter in the department store toilets. That’s where the executives sent them, David Kosiak testified at the BBC. “It sounded like a train was going through the building. The tiles were coming off the roof, and there was so much noise. We had to hide there until they finally got us out of there, 2.5 hours later.” Unfortunately, one of the six died in those toilets.
Amazon says no one is to blame for what happened. “We worked very quickly,” reads a response. “We are very saddened by the passing, but we have worked very hard to get everyone into pre-arranged shelters promptly and well in advance.” Unfortunately, it still sounds, “a small group of employees went to a place that was not designated as a shelter. “Most of the victims were mourned there.”
Clayton reinforces this in her argument. “They need to take staff safety more seriously.”