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On the evening of December 10, 2021, a tornado tore through the southern Illinois town of Edwardsville. Workers at an Amazon warehouse there were given about 10 minutes to find safety before the tornado hit, with wind speeds of 150 mph. Part of the structure’s 1.1 million-square-foot roof came down and two 40-foot tall concrete walls collapsed. 

Six workers were killed. According to lawsuits filed in the wake of the deaths, Amazon managers allegedly told workers they would be fired if they left their jobs to get away from the storm.  And while the Occupational Safety and Health administration did not levy any fines against Amazon, the episode has raised concerns about warehouse workers and their safety in severe weather events. 

Two of the workers killed were in the district of Congresswoman Cori Bush, a Missouri Democrat who earlier this month introduced legislation that would  protect workers during future climate and natural disasters. 

The bill is called the Worker Safety in Climate Disasters Act. It guarantees two weeks paid emergency leave for employees unable to work during a “climate disaster,” whether due to road o... Read more

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