Amazon settles with activist workers who say they are illegal

Amazon settled with two of its foremost internal critics, closing a public hearing on accusations that the company illegally fired the couple, the parties’ lawyers told an administrative judge on Wednesday.

The terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

Former employees, Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, said they were fired last year for publicly encouraging the company to reduce its impact on climate change and address concerns about warehouse workers. Amazon has claimed that its former employees repeatedly violated internal policies.

The deal is reached at a high-wire moment for Amazon, which promises to be “the world’s best employer” and wants to hire 40,000 US corporate and technology workers and 125,000 warehouse workers in a tight labor market.

Working as designers at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters in 2018, Ms. Costa and Ms. Cunningham were part of a small group of employees. company to do more to address the climate impact. They’ve turned their efforts into an organization, Amazon Employees for Climate Justice and More than 8,700 Amazon counterparts with support their efforts.

Over time, Ms. Cunningham and Ms. Costa widened their protest. after amazon said they violated He organized foreign communication policy, groups, speaking publicly about business. 400 employees also speaking in deliberate violation of policy to make a point.

At the start of the pandemic, they announced an internal event for warehouse workers to talk to tech workers about workplace safety conditions. Soon after Amazon fire both women. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, Amazon wrote the statement concerns about potential retaliation and Tim Bray, an internet pioneer and former vice president of Amazon’s cloud computing group, said: resigned in protest.

This spring, lawyers with the National Labor Relations Board they said they had merit The accusations of Ms Costa and Ms Cunningham that they were fired in retaliation for organizing. The agency’s Seattle office later filed a lawsuit against Amazon, saying the company “selectively and differentially enforced face-neutral External Communications and Claims policies to restrict employees from engaging in protected, compliant activities.”

The trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday morning, but was delayed as the parties worked on a settlement.

The lawsuit is one of many messes the company has had with its work board since the start of the pandemic. Most visibly, in August, a hearing officer of the NLRB recommended that the agency file a lawsuit. Union selection in Amazon warehouse Bessemer, Ala., find He said Amazon’s “behavior interfered with the laboratory conditions necessary to make a fair choice.” Amazon denies any interference and has promised to appeal if the labor board’s district office accepts the recommendation and formally overturns the election, rejecting the union.

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