The New York attorney general’s workplace reportedly sent a curtly-worded letter to Amazon telling the company that the measures it has taken regarding the COVID-19 pandemic “are so inadequate that they might violate several provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act,” and firing outspoken staff sends a threatening message to other employees.
The letter, not yet revealed but obtained by NPR, is just informational and does not amount to legal action. But the wording is robust enough to suggest that legal motion could be the subsequent step.
These are the concerns brought up by many warehouse workers during the past two months, including Chris Smalls, who was fired in March after protesting the conditions at the facility where he labored.
Amazon says Smalls was not fired for riling up the workers. But reportedly at a meeting attended by Jeff Bezos, the corporate’s General Counsel urged, making him the face of the entire union/organizing movement before following with the business’ usual talking points about worker safety.
Two more outspoken employees were fired two weeks later for “repeatedly violating internal policies.” Naturally, the usual talking issues followed.
Amazon routinely contends that it is a paragon when it comes to labor, but is just as routinely contradicted by employees, like Smalls, who’ve experienced the reality of working at its warehouses.