Amazon settles with two former technicians who accused the company of illegally firing them last year for speaking out against the company
NEW YORK – Amazon is settling with two former technicians who accused the retail giant of illegally firing them last year for speaking out against the company.
Cunningham and Costa said the settlement means Amazon will have to pay them lost wages and post notices that the company cannot fire workers to organize and exercise their rights.
“This is a victory to protect workers’ rights and shows that we were right to stand up for each other, for justice and for our world,” Cunningham and Costa said in a statement.
When settling, Amazon also avoids a potentially lengthy hearing for the National Labor Relations Board. Amazon said in a statement Thursday that it welcomes the “resolution of this issue.”
The former employees, who were user experience designers at Amazon in Seattle, were the two most prominent voices among a group of workers who wanted the company to take more steps to combat climate change and stop trading with oil and gas companies. They held protests and talked to the media about their concerns.
Last year, when COVID-19 spread in the United States, Cunningham and Costa were fired after helping plan a call between Amazon’s warehouse and office workers to talk about precarious conditions in the online shopping giant’s warehouses, where people worked throughout the pandemic to package and send online orders.
At the time, Amazon said it fired them for violating internal policies, not because they were talking publicly about working conditions or sustainability.
Shortly after, an Amazon director stopped in protest, saying he could not stand when whistleblowers became silent.
This history has been corrected to remove a referral to a call between employees if security issues do not occur. The call actually still happened.