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31 Mar 2020

Tyler Sonnemaker, Business Insider

Amazon warehouse worker alleges he was fired in retaliation for protesting company's response to coronavirus pandemic; company denies allegation

"An Amazon warehouse worker in New York was fired on the same day he helped lead a protest of the company's coronavirus response to safety concerns," 30 March 2020

Amazon fired a warehouse worker Monday evening who had helped organize a strike earlier in the day in protest of the company's response to employee safety amid the coronavirus pandemic... The employee, Chris Smalls... said the company fired him in retaliation for his organizing efforts... "Amazon would rather fire workers than face up to its total failure to do what it should to keep us, our families, and our communities safe. I am outraged and disappointed, but I'm not shocked. As usual, Amazon would rather sweep a problem under the rug than act to keep workers and working communities safe," Smalls said in a statement.

... Amazon denied Smalls' accusations, saying it fired him for repeatedly "violating social distancing guidelines and putting the safety of others at risk" after it asked him to stay home on paid sick leave after he came into "close contact with a diagnosed associate with a confirmed case of COVID-19," the company [said].

... Organizers told Business Insider that at least 50 workers participated in the strike, while Amazon refuted those numbers, claiming it was 15 people.