May 25, 2012 at 1:37 PM ET
Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET: When protesters at Amazon.com's (AMZN) annual meeting blasted the e-commerce giant for subjecting warehouse workers to triple-digit temperatures, company executives were the ones feeling the heat.
CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the company will spend $52 million adding air-conditioning to its network of warehouses, the Seattle Times reported and Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako confirmed via email. (The company did not provide any additional comment.)
Amazon was criticized last year after a local newspaper in Pennsylvania reported how workers at its warehouse there had to endure heat indexes of 110 degrees in the summer months — sometimes for as little as $11 an hour.
"During summer heat waves, Amazon arranged to have paramedics parked in ambulances outside" in anticipation of workers succumbing to the blistering-hot conditions, the Morning Call wrote. On one June day alone, 15 workers collapsed from the heat.
The investigative report prompted an inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, after which the company added fans and louvered doors for ventilation, and passed out water and cold snacks on hot days. Workers told the Morning Call the measures didn't do enough to make the extreme heat bearable.
Roughly 150 protesters convened on Amazon's annual meeting, held at the Seattle Museum of Art on Thursday.