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Truthout - December 12, 2021

Amazon was accused Saturday of putting corporate profits above worker safety following the tornado-caused partial collapse of a St. Louis-area warehouse that left at least six people dead.

“Time and time again Amazon puts its bottom line above the lives of its employees,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), in a statement. “Requiring workers to work through such a major tornado warning event as this was inexcusable.”

Appelbaum’s remarks came after an outbreak of over 20 devastating tornadoes late Friday tore through multiple states and killed dozens of people. In addition to Illinois, affected states included Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

Among the buildings struck was an Amazon facility in Edwardsville, Illinois — a community about 30 minutes from St. Louis. Local officials said Saturday that at least six people died from the collapse.

Local KMOV reported:

The walls on both sides of the building collapsed inward, causing the roof to fall. The 11-inch-thick, 40-feet-tall walls could not sustain the tornado that hit the building Friday night.

The National Weather Service confirmed that it was a category EF-3 tornado that went through Edwardsville Friday night. Winds picked up to as much as 150 mph.

The number of workers inside the building at the time of collapse is not yet determined. Edwardsville Fire Chief James Whiteford said at a press conference late Saturday that one person was injured and 45 people were rescued. ...
Read full report at Truthout