Internet retail giant Amazon.com is facing outcry over the revelation that workers at one of its warehouses had to be carried out by paramedics this summer after working in a closed-door environment that reached 115 degrees.
The story was broken by the Morning Call newspaper, which interviewed 20 current and former employees of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania warehouse and uncovered stunningly bad working conditions, with employees being escorted off the premises on a regular basis if they could not keep productivity at a certain level in the 100+ degree heat.
“Such sights encouraged some workers to conceal pain and push through injury lest they get fired as well,” the newspaper claimed, before going on to reveal that an ER doctor had contacted federal regulators in June to report the warehouse as an “unsafe environment” after treating multiple workers for heat exhaustion.
Yesterday, Amazon was forced to admit that although some warehouses around the country are air-conditioned, not all are—that includes the Lehigh Valley warehouse. “We haven’t historically had air conditioning in our east coast fulfillment centers,” the company explained to the Hollywood Reporter. “We’re in the process of adding air conditioning to additional FC’s so that we’re prepared in case what we saw this past summer becomes the new normal.”
Whether or not this is enough to stop warehouse workers from chanting “End slavery at Amazon,” as the Morning Call story reports, remains to be seen.
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.