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New Delhi: U.S. National Labor Relations Board has found that Amazon.com Inc fired two employees who raised concerns and advocated for better working conditions.
Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa were fired after they accused the e-commerce giant of enforcing discriminatory policies and the vague rules that “chill and restrain” staff from exercising rights according to a Reuters report.
About a year ago Cunningham and Costa questioned Amazon’s pandemic safety protocols and worked to raise money for warehouse staff at risk of contracting COVID-19 the report said.
The issue came up at a time when Amazon waits as the workers at Bessemer, Alabama warehouse vote to make it the first unionized facility in the country. According to the Reuters report, the board on Monday said that its regional director in Seattle will issue a complaint if the parties do not settle the case.
In a statement, Amazon said it supports workers’ rights to criticize work conditions and added, “We terminated these employees not for talking publicly about working conditions, safety, or sustainability, but rather, for repeatedly violating internal policies,” said the Reuters report. Though the company did not specify the policies.
International president of the UFCW union Marc Perrone said in a statement that “Today is a reminder that Amazon will break the law to silence its own workers who speak out”. The local unit of the UFCW helped Cunningham and Costa file the charge, they gained prominence after the voice their opinion and pushed the company to take measures towards climate change.
Amazon recently apologized to US law maker and agreed that sometimes the delivery personnel were forced to urinate in bottles between deliveries according to recent media reports.
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