Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

There are only a few days left in our critical Mid-Year Campaign and we truly might not make it without your help.
Please join us. If you rely on independent media, support Common Dreams today. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Union leaders are joined by community group representatives, elected officials, and activists for a Los Angeles rally in support of unionization efforts by Amazon workers in Alabama on March 21, 2021. (Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

Amazon Workers Speak Out About Deaths at Alabama Warehouse

"Amazon is literally working people to death, and expects us to ignore it."

Jessica Corbett

Amazon employees spoke out against the e-commerce giant in a Wednesday video about the recent deaths of workers at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama—which has garnered national attention this year for controversy related to a unionization effort.

Labor journalist Kim Kelly interviewed Amazon workers Isaiah Thomas and Perry Connelly for More Perfect Union. They discussed the deaths, including two people who died within hours of each other in late November.

Kelly, who called those who came forward "heroes," tweeted that "Amazon is literally working people to death, and expects us to ignore it."

The video notes that according to workers, at least two of the six employees who died were denied leave by managers.

"Something has to be done," Thomas says. "This is insane. How long are we gonna wait until somebody else dies?"

Connelly suggests that Amazon sees and treats its warehouse workers as bodies, and "once that body's used up, they'll just bring somebody else in" to do the work.

"What happens if I drop?" he asks. "I'm just gonna be... another body."

Amazon did not respond to More Perfect Union's request for comment. However, viewers had a lot to say.

"Amazon must be held accountable for its treatment of workers. All too often, it's a life-or-death situation."

"This is a must-watch," Jobs With Justice tweeted of the video. "Amazon must be held accountable for its treatment of workers. All too often, it's a life-or-death situation."

Sarah Miller, executive director of the American Economic Liberties Project, said that "this is horrible" and the video reminded her of reading an "absolutely chilling passage" in Charles Duhigg's 2019 report for The New Yorker about Amazon's "total disregard for life when building its delivery network."

ALIGN, an alliance of labor and community groups in New York, pointed out that six more Amazon workers died earlier this month when a tornado caused a partial collapse at an Illinois warehouse.

The group called More Perfect Union's video "powerful" and said that "Amazon is killing workers."

The video comes as Amazon faces growing scrutiny for its treatment of employees and follows a National Labor Relations Board regional director last month ordering a new union election in Bessemer after allegations that the company illegally interfered with an unsuccessful vote in April.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Flint Residents 'Disgusted' After Court Throws Out Indictments of Top Officials

"It has become increasingly clear that the judicial system is not a viable option for a poor majority Black community facing injustice," said Flint Rising.

Jessica Corbett ·


Sanders, Fetterman Urge Buttigieg to Fine Airlines Over Flight Cancellations

"The American people are sick of airlines ripping them off, canceling flights at the last minute, and delaying flights for hours on end," said the Vermont senator.

Jake Johnson ·


In Blow to Voting Rights, SCOTUS Saves Louisiana's Racially Rigged Electoral Map

"Black Louisianans deserve fair representation. The fight for racial justice and equality is far from over," vowed one civil rights group.

Brett Wilkins ·


Watching US With Horror, European Groups Push Leaders to Strengthen Abortion Rights

"This is an important moment for leaders across Europe who are committed to reproductive rights to lead by example and galvanize action in their own countries," said one campaigner.

Jake Johnson ·


Women Face Chaos, Torment as Abortion Clinics Shutter Across US

Clinic workers are attempting to get patients appointments out-of-state while women stockpile emergency contraception, fearing overcrowded clinics even in states that protect reproductive rights.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo