Amazon has denied the firing of two employees with ties to the grassroots union that led the retail giant’s first successful U.S. organizing effort.
The company has confirmed it terminated Michal ‘Mat’ Cusick and Tristan Dutchin, of the Amazon Labor Union on Staten Island, New York.
Nevertheless, it claims the “cases are unrelated to each other and unrelated to whether these individuals support any particular cause or group.”
Cusick, who worked at a different Amazon warehouse than the one that voted to unionize last month, claimed he was fired because he was on COVID-19 leave.
He claimed that an agent from the company’s employee resource center informed him that he could go on leave until Friday, April 29, but that he was later fired because the leave period was only extended until Tuesday, April 26.
Cusick said: “They now say after the fact, after they terminated me, that the COVID leave actually only extended to the 26th, that discrepancy is how they fired me.”
Cusick claimed he was locked out of Amazon’s internal employee system without notice on May 2.
He claimed he called the employee resource center the next day and was informed of his termination.
In a letter sent on Wednesday, May 4, the company told Cusick he was fired for “voluntary resignation due to job abandonment.”
Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said Cusick had “failed to show up for work since an approved leave ended in late April, despite our team reaching out to him and even extending his leave.”
“While we normally wouldn’t discuss personnel issues, we think it’s important to clear up some misinformation here,” Nantel said.