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24 Amazon Workers Hospitalized in Robot Bear Spray Incident

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Robot and calulatorby Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams

At least one person was in critical condition and 24 were hospitalized after a robot accidentally punctured a 9 ounce aerosol can of bear repellent at an Amazon warehouse in Robbinsville Township, New Jersey on recently, causing dozens of employees to experience trouble breathing.

All told, 54 Amazon employees received medical attention because of the incident, according to multiple reports, which follow global strikes and demands from workers, advocates, and even lawmakers such as Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for the company —  which is run by the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos — to improve workplace conditions, including warehouse safety.

“Amazon’s automated robots put humans in life-threatening danger,” declared Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

“This is another outrageous example of the company putting profits over the health and safety of their workers, and we cannot stand for this,” he added, emphasizing that as one of the world’s biggest companies, Amazon “cannot continue to be let off the hook for putting hard working people’s lives at risk.”

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© 2018 Common Dreams

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