Five Democratic policymakers Wednesday wrote Amazon.com to raise a concern about its firing of a worker who demonstrated against warehouse operations during the coronavirus pandemic.
The letter addressed to Chief Jeff Bezos adds to public scrutiny Amazon is facing over the dismissal, at a time when the corporate is racing to update security protocols, keep warehouses open and ship essential items to shoppers who’re shut indoors.
Amazon worker Christian Smalls came to the company’s Staten Island, warehouse on March 30 for a small protest he helped arrange, which partly called for the site’s shutdown.
Workers cautioned of infection after a colleague had fallen sick to the novel coronavirus, cases of which have now been reported amongst workers at over 50 Amazon warehouses.
Amazon mentioned it fired Smalls, who had contact with the virus affected person after he violated a paid quarantine to affix the protest. The dismissal prompted New York Metropolis’s mayor to announce a probe and the state’s legal professional common to demanding a U.S. labor board investigation.
In Wednesday’s letter, senators guided by Cory Booker of New Jersey questioned the order of episodes. They cited a media report suggesting that Smalls’ two-week quarantine might have come after Smalls “had begun organizing their colleagues to demand extra office transparency and stronger office protections.”
The quarantine ought to have ended five days earlier than the protest primarily based on a possible March 11 publicity, the letter stated, citing the media report.