The following is from MLK Labor:
SEATTLE –As part of this week’s series of work stoppages and sickouts at Amazon facilities across the nation, the company’s tech employees in the Seattle area plan to call in sick on Friday, April 24 to protest the firings of Amazon employees who have spoken out against dangerous working conditions at the company’s warehouses. They will be holding a livestream event online starting at 9 a.m. with Amazon workers discussing working conditions and attempts to silence them. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is expected to join them at around 1:30 p.m.
TAKE A STAND — All are invited to participate in Friday’s event. You can join here.
ALSO, labor leaders in Washington state are asked to sign this letter decrying Amazon’s firings and demanding that the company immediately reinstate the fired workers, improve warehouse safety in response to the ongoing pandemic, and allow workers to act collectively and unionize without retaliation. Email email@example.com by the close of business today (Thursday) to have your organization’s name added to the list of signatories.
On April 10, Amazon fired two Seattle-based tech workers, Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, for blowing the whistle on warehouse worker safety issues. This came on the heels of the company’s decision to fire Chris Smalls, a black warehouse worker in New York who had been outspoken about dangerous working conditions and workers being exposed to the coronavirus. After this event, several labor unions organized an open letter that I emailed to you.
Cunningham and Costa are the front leaders of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, a worker organization that fights to address climate change at their workplace and has recently pivoted to organize around working conditions in Amazon warehouses. The fired employees have more than 20 years of combined experience with the company.
Days later, Amazon fired Bashir Mohamed, a Minnesota warehouse worker who also organized co-workers around improved workplace conditions.
Firing workers for speaking up about their life and safety is not only dangerous and immoral, but also against the law. As labor and elected leaders, we need to demand better.
Support these workers by joining Friday’s live stream.