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Amazon Fires Workers who Spoke Against Warehouse Conditions

Amazon fires workers who spoke against warehouse conditions

Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa have reportedly lost their jobs at Amazon due to protesting against the company’s warehouse conditions. Meanwhile, Amazon has cited internal policy violations for being the main reason leading to the termination of their services. The company produced a similar statement in all cases where termination has taken place on similar grounds.

Both these workers who are employed in the tech field, Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, had actually spoken publicly against the company. These ex-employees at Amazon had been active members of an advocacy group that raises concern over climate. They were employees based in Seattle. But they are certainly not the only ones to have complained or protested the alleged unjust working conditions.

These employees had been members of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice. During the current Coronavirus pandemic, they went on to express their contempt at warehouse conditions, that too publicly. Previously, as per reports, these two had also sought to match donations up to $ 500 for the workers employed at Amazon. 

They had cited a lack of sufficient protection to workers as the primary ground for this donation. In no time, she was served a notice from the company regarding her termination from office. The brand has put forth its allegations concerned with a violation of the respected code of behavior and language as the primary ground for her termination.

The company said that it respected and put adequate recognition to the workers’ right to protest. Amazon spokesperson Kristen Kish produced this stance said in a statement. But, she was quick to add that the freedom to protest was not absolute. It rather encompassed a variety of nuances. She added that health and safety requirements had to be considered first of all. 

The statement from Amazon’s spokesperson underlined, “This individual was terminated as a result of progressive disciplinary action for inappropriate language, behavior and violating social distancing guidelines.”


In an email addressed to the media, the company had cleared that these workers had exploited their right to protest to the point that unacceptable language had been used. The company maintained that such undignified behavior would not be tolerated. Apart from that, the company had been following strict measures to impose social distancing. The attempts by these workers sought to undermine the company’s efforts in this direction as well, the email claimed.

Another warehouse employee in Minnesota was fired last week since he had organized protests at one of the fulfillment centers. The worker was charged with having organized other employees to advocate for nicer working conditions. His workplace advocacy landed him into trouble when he advocated better cleaning and hygiene practices and other measures to keep the viral disease at bay. 

He spoke that the workers had a right to be protected against the spread of the coronavirus. The man had been working at the Amazon warehouse for three years before he was fired. It seems as if the disciplinary action was invoked only because of the demonstrations that he had led. The statement from the company implied that his actions were deliberately meant to “endanger the health, well-being or safety of their colleagues.”

The company had earlier terminated another NewYork based worker Chris Smalls, who had staged a walkout at an Amazon warehouse. Chris Smalls had aimed to protest against the unsafe working conditions at a time when the working conditions were important more than ever. The warehouse was located at Staten Island in Smalls’ case.

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