NY Amazon Workers Fired for Union Organizing

Since April 1st, Amazon workers have been protesting for voting on the unionization of the Amazon Staten Island warehouse. Amazonians United is a movement of workers who come together to promote higher pay, safety, fairness and respect in the workplace. Most Amazon workers are scared of speaking up because they do not want to lose their jobs. They hope that through their voices, they are able to set an example for a better working environment for Amazon and other larger companies to come.

At a delivery station in Queens, four workers who supported Amazon United got fired. Amazon discouraged union activities and did not respond to comment about this event.

Amazon workers from Woodside and Long Island City delivery stations walked away from their jobs because they wanted higher pay. They demanded better security and safety after learning about the event when a tornado in Kentucky killed six Amazon workers. Because of the unfair labor practices in Queens, workers have filed their complaints to Amazon. Jonathan Bailey worked in Queens and he was detained in his lunch break. He said, “It was already a pretty intense conversation. But it became very clear they were trying to intimidate me. Being accused of harassment is a very dangerous thing.”

Bailey staged the walkout, and his voice had reached Amazon. Amazon now allows the right to organize. Gerald Bryson, who got wrongfully fired in spring 2020, was reinstated. He said, “For me to win and walk back through those doors changes everything. It will show that Amazon can be beat. It will show you have to fight for what you believe in.” Kelly Nantel, the spokesperson for Amazon, contrastingly said, “We strongly disagree with this ruling and are surprised the N.L.R.B. would want any employer to condone Mr. Bryson’s behavior. Mr. Bryson was fired for bullying, cursing at and defaming a female co-worker over a bullhorn in front of the workplace.”

With the recent wave of the labor organization movement on Starbucks, it is likely that Amazon will face the same path for equality, equity, and safety. The National Labor Relations Board will be reviewing the merit of Amazonians United. Frank Kearl, a lawyer with Make the Road New York, stated, “This is a very stern rebuke of Amazon’s unlawful, retaliatory termination of Gerald.” Bryson adds, “I am there to say, ‘Listen, I just battled with them for two years and won.”

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