Union leaders, NY lawmakers pressure Amazon to reinstate fired protester     - CNET
Apr 01, 2020 1 min, 27 secs
A broad group of union leaders, New York lawmakers and an Amazon employee advocacy organization called on the e-commerce giant to do a better job of protecting its warehouse workers and drivers during the coronavirus pandemic.

It also called for Christian Smalls, an Amazon warehouse employee who was fired Monday, to be reinstated.

Amazon said it fired him that day for violating a company order to stay home with pay for 14 days after he was in close contact with another employee who tested positive for coronavirus.

Smalls instead attended Monday's strike and said Amazon was attempting to suppress his efforts to speak out against unsafe working conditions at the warehouse.

The group, which included representatives from the AFL-CIO and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), on Wednesday called for warehouses to be closed down until new protocols, like independent health and safety inspection and monitoring, are put in place.

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, one of many employee advocacy groups within the online retailer, also signed onto Wednesday's letter.

In a separate letter Tuesday night, the group called for better protections for warehouse workers.

They also support shutting down any warehouse with a confirmed coronavirus case and paying employees there to stay home "until Amazon can better ensure the safety of its workforce." .

"We have seen social media posts and heard stories directly from Amazon warehouse workers around the world that show that Amazon is not adequately protecting its hourly workers from COVID-19," Mark Hiew Sr., an Amazon marketing manager, said as part of the climate group's statement.

On Monday, Staten Island warehouse workers staged a strike to call for better protections, and employees for Whole Foods, which Amazon owns, held a "sick out" on Tuesday

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