Amazon illegally fired two workers after they protested the company’s working conditions and climate change impact, the New York Times has reported.
According to the NYT, the US National Labor Relations Board told the two fired workers, Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, that it would “accuse Amazon of unfair labor practices if the company did not settle the case.”
As Amazon employees, Cunningham and Costa had organized protests against the company’s warehouse working conditions and contribution to climate change, rallying hundreds of workers – which prompted Amazon to threaten the two last year that any future action could result in dismissal.
Cunningham and Costa then organized 400 colleagues to speak out against the company and were fired – as Amazon explained, “for repeatedly violating internal policies.”
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They had demanded that Amazon expand its hazard pay, childcare, and sick leave, as well as temporarily close down and sterilize locations where employees who had tested positive for Covid-19 were known to have been.
According to legal consultant Irene Stavrellis Englert, when the National Labor Relations Board finds an unlawful company decision, it “will order the employer to cease and desist from the unfair labor practice and to take affirmative action to remedy the violation,” which could include the fired employees being reinstated.
Amazon has recently faced an increasing amount of controversy over its response to reports and employee complaints about workplace conditions. The company issued an apology last week for claiming its employees did not urinate in bottles, after it was revealed that Amazon was aware of drivers frequently urinating and defecating in their vehicles to meet deadlines.
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