- Some Amazon workers got a full paid day off after they said they found a bed bug in a delivery van.
- An Amazon spokesperson said staff were excused, but the company found no evidence of bed bugs.
- The Amazon air hub in Northern Kentucky is at the center of a union organizing push.
Some Amazon workers received a full paid day off on Monday after they claimed to have discovered a bed bug in one of the company’s delivery vans at its largest air hub in Kentucky.
In a TikTok from organizers with Unionize Amazon Northern Kentucky KCVG that has generated over 460,000 views, an Amazon worker said the workers “rallied together inside of the HR office and refused to leave until they sent us home with pay” after one of the workers found an insect that they were concerned was a bed bug in a delivery van. As a result, the workers were able to secure holiday pay, which is time and a half, for Memorial Day, the worker said.
It is unclear how many workers were given the day off. Last year, Steven Kelley, an Amazon worker at the site, told The Guardian that most workers at the air hub receive pay under $20 per hour.
An Amazon spokesperson told Insider that the company does not have any issues with insects at the air hub and employees were excused for the day even though the company had not confirmed the presence of bed bugs.
“The facilities and vehicles at the KCVG air hub are regularly inspected by pest control professionals as part of our standard health and safety protocols, and claims to the contrary are incorrect,” said Amazon spokesperson Mary Kate Paradis. “In this instance, an employee told us about a potential issue and we immediately took the van out of service and had it treated. Experts have since confirmed the insect in question was not a bed bug.”
A spokesperson for Unionize Amazon Northern Kentucky KCVG did not respond to a request for comment from Insider ahead of publication.
Local organizers with Unionize Amazon Northern Kentucky KCVG announced earlier this year that they’ve begun working with the national Amazon Labor Union after the group successfully unionized a Staten Island site last year. The union is aiming to secure a $30 per hour starting pay and 180 hours of paid time off each year. The group is already starting to gather signature from employees who want to authorize a union vote, according to local news.
It’s not the first time Amazon workers have reported bed bug concerns. Last year, the company closed down a warehouse in Texas due to reports of a possible bed bug infestation and complaints from employees who said they had been bitten by the insects. At the time, all the roughly 500 workers who were employed at the facility continued to receive pay while the fulfillment center was shut down. The company later said that they had found “no evidence of bed bugs.”