Amazon is being accused of unlawfully dismissing two members of staff in Maryland for their role in protests and unionization.
An independent labor group called Amazonians United is accusing the company of unlawfully dismissing workers at the facility in Maryland.
The group has brought the labor movement to an Amazon site in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Last week, the organization filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board.
READ MORE: MARYLAND APPLE WORKERS ARE THE LATEST TO UNIONIZE – BUT FACE SOME HURDLES
Workers at the DMD9 delivery station in Upper Marlboro were fired for their involvement in gathering signatures for two petitions and pushing others to take part in a March walkout.
Davis Jackie is one of the Prince George’s County employees who want to be rehired with back pay.
He said: “They want to break us apart. They want us to be scared. They don’t want workers coming together, talking about how they feel some things are wrong. If they divide us, there’s no more unity.”
Kelly Nantel, an Amazon spokeswoman, argued that the charges are without merit.
“Whether an employee supports a certain cause or group doesn’t factor into the difficult decision of whether or not to let someone go.”
Nonetheless, the group’s allegations are the latest evidence of a burgeoning labor movement at Amazon facilities worldwide, fueled by a historic unionization vote at one of the company’s Staten Island warehouses.
However, the group is now saying that Amazon, the country’s second-largest private employer, is breaking labor law by removing some of the major leaders behind its protests.
READ MORE: WHY AMAZON’S GRUELING WORK SCHEDULE MEANS IT COULD RUN OUT OF WAREHOUSE STAFF IN TWO YEARS
The organization has been successful in establishing relationships and garnering support on the shop floor, often in collaboration with other warehouses around the country.
Nantel stated that the company will demonstrate that Amazonians United’s charges are false “through the appropriate process.”
She said: “Just like every company we have basic expectations of employees at all levels and in these cases, those expectations were not met.”
Aside from healthier meals, employees won a relaxed bathroom break policy, ergonomic mats at some workstations, and free shuttles from the Largo Metro station.
Davis was dismissed in March after organizing a coordinated strike, and claims her supervisors provided her with no clear or justified explanation.
Nantel justified the move by claiming she “was terminated due to time theft and not being onsite despite clocking in.”
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The lawsuit claims Amazon “retaliated” against her by “firing her for engaging in protected concerted activity and standing up for the rights of her coworkers.”
Amazonians United said: “Amazon is fully aware that their actions are in violation of our right to organize at work, so the company has turned to false accusations and shady excuses to justify firing walkout leaders.”
A rank-and-file group called Amazonians United has also formed in warehouses in Sacramento, Chicago, and New York.
They have also filed “unfair labor practice” complaints against workers at New York-area warehouses who were dismissed after participating in walkouts.
Source: The Washington Post
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