Amazon to defend firing of workers who criticized working circumstances

Amazon will face US labor regulators in a Tuesday listening to over its determination final 12 months to fireside two workers who criticized the e-tailing big’s labor and local weather insurance policies.

Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa were fired from their jobs as tech designers at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters after they spoke out about working circumstances at Amazon’s warehouses throughout the pandemic, their grievance alleges.

Cunningham and Costa have been additionally environmental activists, who have been vital of Amazon’s local weather insurance policies. 

They filed a grievance final 12 months with the Nationwide Labor Relations Board, alleging that Amazon retaliated towards them for talking out in regards to the firm’s local weather and labor practices — and the government agency in April found merit in their complaint.

On the time, Amazon mentioned it disagreed with company’s determination to maneuver ahead with the case. 

“We disagree with these preliminary findings,” the e-commerce big mentioned in an announcement. “We support every employee’s right to criticize their employer’s working conditions, but that does not come with blanket immunity against our internal policies, all of which are lawful. We terminated these employees not for the reasons cited in the preliminary finding, but because they repeatedly violated internal policies.”

Union supporters protesting Amazon, holding signs.
Amazon is dealing with a rising labor motion to unionize its employees.
AFP by way of Getty Pictures

Amazon can nonetheless settle the case with Cunningham and Costa.

Their case is only one amongst a r ising variety of complaints filed with the NLRB towards Amazon from employees who say they have been fired as a result of they spoke out towards the web big.

The company is contemplating consolidating these instances right into a nationwide investigation, in line with NBC News, which tallied practically 40 complaints filed with the company towards Amazon from February 2020 by March 2021.

The company additionally maintains that Amazon violated labor regulation in a excessive profile unionization effort this 12 months in Bessemer, Ala. A NLRB hearing officer said in an August report that Amazon  “engaged in objectionable conduct” and “interfered” with the “conditions necessary to conduct a fair election.” 

An Amazon protestor standing on a car roof holding a sign.
The NLRB is contemplating consolidating the complaints towards Amazon into one nationwide investigation, in line with a report.
AFP by way of Getty Pictures

Amazon employees voted not to form a union at the Bessemer facility this spring, however The Retail, Wholesale and Division Retailer Union accused Amazon of interfering with the vote. 

The NLRB’s regional director will now evaluate the proof and will order a do-over of the election if the listening to officer’s advice is adopted.

In the meantime, Amazon is coming below fireplace at a separate listening to at the moment earlier than the Home Judiciary Committee, Antitrust, Industrial and Administrative Regulation Subcommittee, which is able to hear from a UPS Teamster driver, who will elevate antitrust issues about Amazon’s capacity to decrease the pay of truck drivers and have an effect on their working circumstances with its third get together contracts with UPS, DHL and different supply companies, in line with a press launch from the Worldwide Brotherhood of Teamsters.

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