Amazon settled a labor dispute with a pair of outspoken ex-employees it canned from its headquarters last year for publicly criticizing the e-tailing giant’s working conditions and climate policies.
The National Labor Relations Board was set this week to hear the case brought by the two employees — which the agency said had merit — when the parties reached a private settlement, an NLRB spokeswoman said.
Terms were not disclosed, but the local Washington state chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers union that brought the case said the settlement requires Amazon to “make a posting [nationwide] notifying tech and warehouse workers of the settlement notice and that they have the right under the law to express themselves in collective and concerted activity,” according to a statement.
The settlement also requires Amazon to “document” its compliance with the posting notice and provide “evidence” of it directly with the UFCW, the union said in its statement.
The canned employees — Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa — had been vocal critics of Amazon’s climate policies, and when the pandemic started, they added their voices to the plight of warehouse workers.
The former employees spoke out around the same time that a high-ranking Amazon executive, Tim Bray, announced his resignation from Amazon because of its treatment of warehouse workers, he said in a public blog post. Bray said he could no longer stand to work at a “chickens–t” company that fires dissenters in an effort “designed to create a climate of fear.”
“I quit in dismay at Amazon firing whistleblowers who were making noise about warehouse employees frightened of Covid-19,” Bray wrote.
Amazon maintained that Cunningham and Costa violated the company’s “internal policies,” which required them to get approval to speak publicly about Amazon.
Amazon confirmed the settlement in a statement to The Post. “We have reached a mutual agreement that resolves the legal issues in this case and welcome the resolution of this matter,” the statement said.
The NLRB settlement was approved by the regional director in what is called a “private non-board agreement,” the agency said.
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