An independent group of Amazon workers called Amazonians United accuses the e-commerce giant of firing four workers in Queens for “supporting a labor organization”. According to BuzzFeed News, the group filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board on April 14, arguing that the company fired the workers for “protesting employment conditions”. The group also said Amazon made the decision to “discourage union activity.”
Amazon warehouse workers in Long Island City and Woodsland staged a strike in March demanding a $3 per hour wage increase and the reinstatement of their 20-minute breaks. A Motherboard report on the protest noted that workers were earning around $15.75 to $17.25 an hour and that Amazon had shortened their rest breaks from 20 to 15 minutes. Queens facility workers also joined a petition that circulated in December demanding better weather policy and the right to keep their phones with them in case of an emergency.
As a labor organization, Amazonians United collectively fights for better policies that benefit workers without being a formal union. He has successfully fought for workplace policy changes and wage increases in the past. In this particular case, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has yet to review the group’s complaint before deciding whether it has merit. Just days ago, the NLRB successfully convinced a judge to order Amazon to reinstate Staten Island warehouse worker Gerald Bryson. The judge sided with the labor board and accepted its argument that the company fired Bryson in retaliation for participating in a 2020 COVID-19 safety protest.