Amazon reached a settlement with employees who claimed to have been fired due to activism

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Environmentalists protest outside Amazon shareholders meeting

Paayal Zaveri | NBC Finance Channel

Amazon A settlement was reached with two former employees, and the National Labor Relations Commission claimed that they were illegally fired for talking publicly about the company’s climate record and labor policies.

The terms of the settlement between Amazon and its two employees, Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, were not immediately disclosed. NLRB Administrative Law Judge John Giannopoulos announced the settlement agreement at a virtual hearing. Giannopoulos Expected to be reviewed NLRB’s complaint.

NLRB spokesperson Kayla Blado confirmed that the two parties reached a private settlement. Amazon declined to comment.

James McGuinness, an attorney representing Cunningham and Costa, who filed the NLRB complaint on behalf of the Seattle branch of the American Food and Commercial Workers Union, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Earlier this year, NLRB found When Amazon fired Cunningham and Costa in April 2020, it illegally retaliated against them. Amazon previously stated that it disagreed with the NLRB’s findings, claiming that it fired Costa and Cunningham on the grounds that it “repeatedly violated internal policies.”

In a complaint to the NLRB in October last year, Costa and Cunningham accused Amazon of violating federal labor laws by dismissing them “on the basis of discriminatory enforcement of its non-soliciting and communication policies.” The latter prohibits employees from talking about Amazon without the approval of their managers. business.

By reaching a settlement, Amazon avoided potentially lengthy trials, including witnesses and analysis of the treatment of its employees. If NLRB is on the side of employees, Amazon may be forced to re-employ Cunningham and Costa, or give them back wages, and other remedial measures.

Cunningham and Costa worked as user experience designers at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters for 15 years. In 2018, they became outspoken critics of Amazon’s climate stance and established an employee advocacy organization to urge the company to reduce its impact on climate change. The Amazon Climate Justice Employee Organization has won the support of more than 8,700 employees and has promoted more than 1,500 employees to go out and protest against Amazon’s climate policy.

During the pandemic, Cunningham and Costa expressed concerns about Amazon’s treatment of warehouse workers.Both Shared a petition From warehouse workers and their employee advocacy groups advocating for more coronavirus protection Planned an internal event Allow Amazon skilled workers and warehouse employees to discuss workplace conditions.

Amazon’s labor practices are facing increasing scrutiny by employees and external groups. Warehouse and delivery workers publicly expressed their concerns about the safety of frontline employees during the pandemic. At the same time, more and more employees filed complaints with the NLRB, many of which allege unfair labor practices.

Cunningham and Costa were fired in April last year, which immediately aroused strong opposition. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts, and Vice President Kamala Harris, then a California senator, Join other legislators Write to Amazon and ask for more information about firing them.

Tim Bray, a famous engineer and former vice president of Amazon, Resign in protest Last May. Bray said he was “furious” after learning of his dismissal, adding that staying at the company was equivalent to “signing up to an act I despised”.

watch: California Governor Newsom signs bill to strengthen protections for warehouse workers

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