Amazon delays 'no phone allowed' rule after deadly tornado crisis

WION Web Team
Florida, United States Published: Dec 19, 2021, 11:33 AM(IST)

Employees now allowed to carry mobile phones in Amazon warehouses. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Now, after the deadly collapse of the Edwardsville, Illinois, warehouse, the discussion about employees not getting proper information, warnings and help at the correct time due to this ban resurfaced

The ‘no mobile phones allowed’ policy in Amazon warehouses has been a controversial topic for months now, and has been largely criticised. Now, the retail giant seems to be backing off from it.

Some Amazon warehouse workers received a text message from the e-commerce retail giant that employees will be allowed to carry their mobile phones with them "until further notice". The same was confirmed by a spokesperson to local media.

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For years, the company has prohibited its warehouse employees from having their mobile phones in the working premises during their shift hours. Employees have been instructed to leave their devices either in their vehicles or in the lockers provided to employees near their break rooms.

The company’s sudden change of heart comes after the e-commerce giant lost six of its workers and several others were injured in a deadly tornado last week. After such a massive scale of destructions, Amazon officials realised that it is important for employees have access to real-time warnings and information in such sensitive situations.

Amazon had earlier given permission to employees to carry their mobile phones with them during shift hours. However, in the start of January 2021, the ‘no phone’ rule was reinforced despite harsh criticism against this move.

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Now, after the deadly collapse of the Edwardsville, Illinois, warehouse, the discussion about employees not getting proper information, warnings and help at the correct time due to this ban resurfaced.

Employees said they would like to have access to their phones so that they have uninterrupted access to emergency services, their loved ones and warnings in such situations. Meanwhile, Amazon has said that their experts are looking at different ways of making sure employees have proper access while making sure that no security and safety protocols are broken.

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