On March 25, 2022, workers line up to cast ballots at Amazon’s JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York City, USA.
Brendan MacDermid | Reuters
Amazon We fired two employees involved in the organization campaign, resulting in the creation of the first integrated warehouse in the United States.
Mat Cusick and Tristan Dutchin told CNBC that they were recently fired by Amazon. Both Cusick and Dutchin have worked with Amazon Labor Union, an emerging group led by employees of the current and former company, to organize workers in the e-commerce giant’s warehouse on Staten Island, New York.
ALU Carved a historic victory Last month, workers at JFK8, Amazon’s largest warehouse in New York City, voted to join the union. ALU wanted to recreate its success in a small nearby facility called LDJ5, but the site Refuse to union last week. Still, the JFK8 victory has spurred organizational efforts at other Amazon warehouses, and the ALU is in the spotlight. Especially from President Joe Biden..
Dutchin, who worked as a package picker at JFK8 for almost a year, said he was fired on Saturday after finishing the shift. Amazon told him he couldn’t meet the company’s productivity goals, which require employees to choose hundreds of packages an hour.
Dutchin said he had previously been warned by Amazon about his performance, but has since received additional training. Dutchin even said his manager recently congratulated him on improving his performance.
Cusick, ALU’s communications director, said he was fired last week after an employee took a “Covid care leave” to take care of a family member who became ill with Covid-19.
A woman is holding a placard on April 24, 2022, in Staten Island, New York City, when Amazon and its members attend a rally outside the company building.
Kenavetan Cool | AFP | Getty Images
Employees of Amazon’s Human Resources department allowed him to take leave until April 29, Cassic said. However, on April 30, he received an email from Amazon saying he was absent from work for three days. This was the reason for the dismissal, Cusick said.
The next day, Cusick, who categorized packages for delivery at an Amazon facility called DYY6 near JFK8, discovered that he was locked out of Amazon’s internal employee portal.
“I called the ERC, and” what’s happening, I seem to have been fired, “Cusick said, referring to the Employee Resource Center.
“I think the first person might have said I wasn’t fired,” he said. “”
On May 4, Cusick received a letter from Amazon informing him that he had been dismissed “due to abandonment of work,” according to a copy of the letter read by CNBC.
Amazon’s employee personnel system has been the subject of scrutiny in the past.Survey by New York Times When Bloomberg We have identified problems with highly automated systems that are struggling to keep up with the company’s rapidly expanding workforce, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cusick described his dismissal as “automatic termination.”
“Amazon’s system is almost completely digital,” says Cusick. “I was locked out of the system where all that material was stored. I’m locked out of the building so I can’t even go to the building where I work and talk to the people inside.”
Deputy I previously reported on firing. Amazon spokesman Kelly Nantel denied that Kasik and Dutchin’s proceedings were unrelated to each other and were dismissed in retaliation for their organization with the ALU.
“We are working hard to meet the needs of our team, but like any other employer, we meet certain minimum expectations of our employees and take appropriate action if we cannot. I’m asking you to take it, “says Nantel.
Amazon Previously dismissed an employee Those who frankly criticized the company’s labor practices, Including Chris Smalls, President of ALU.Amazon Recently ordered To return to JFK8 employee Gerald Bryson after the judge discovered that the company had “illegally” dismissed him two years ago for participating in a pandemic protest.
“I’m interviewing and going to a rally,” Dutchin said. “I’m part of the ALU and I’m making national headlines. They pay attention to that.”
The union’s victory at JFK8 was a major victory for the labor group, which had been trying to organize Amazon facilities for several years. For ALU, the task is not over yet. Must do now Try to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with Amazon. Already about to be late A contract by challenging the election results in court.
In addition to dismissing the organizer at JFK8, the company recently made changes to the top ranks of the site.
Amazon fired at least half a dozen senior executives at JFK8 last week. The New York Times reported.. Amazon spokesman Kelly Nantel said the dismissal was the result of weeks of evaluation of “operations and leadership” at JFK8. However, according to The Times, the dismissed manager saw the move as a response to the recent union victory.
Amazon may be legally allowed to dismiss managers who are not part of the negotiating department, but Amazon may face further battles from the National Labor Relations Commission to dismiss union organizers Professor Tom Kochan of the MIT Sloan School of Business said it was possible.
“It is clearly immoral and illegal to dismiss the union organizer, but the penalties are so weak that the company may be rewarded for doing so,” Kochan said. “It is also very likely that we will enforce laws proving that workers have been dismissed for union activities, rather than workers not appearing on time or not working effectively in some way. It’s difficult. “
look: Amazon union wins