Protesters Shame Amazon into Installing Air Conditioning for Warehouses

MSNBC reported last week that online retail giant Amazon is installing air conditioning in its warehouses across the U.S., including in Pennsylvania, after protesters interrupted the company's annual shareholder meeting in Seattle.

Protestors were outraged by working conditions uncovered last fall by the Allentown Morning Call — namely, that temperatures in the Lehigh Valley warehouse often exceeded 100 degrees in the summer and caused 15 workers to collapse last June:

During summer heat waves, Amazon arranged to have paramedics parked in ambulances outside, ready to treat any workers who dehydrated or suffered other forms of heat stress. Those who couldn't quickly cool off and return to work were sent home or taken out in stretchers and wheelchairs and transported to area hospitals. And new applicants were ready to begin work at any time.

Apparently, this was cheaper than the $52 million retrofit pricetag — until public pressure kicked in.

When Pennsylvania awarded economic development dollars to Amazon to build warehouses here, perhaps someone should have checked that the company was installing air conditioning.

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