Amazon suspended round 50 workers at a Staten Island warehouse for refusing to return to work on Monday. The workers stated they cited security issues over a fire that had occurred at the ability earlier that day.
A number of dozen workers obtained emails on Tuesday informing them of their suspension.
“Your badge has been suspended pending an investigation,” learn one e-mail, which was shared with Gothamist. “You should not return to the site at this time and you will be compensated for your regularly scheduled shifts throughout the course of the investigation.”
The e-mail didn’t say how lengthy the suspension would final.
“When this suspension is up I believe we are going to be terminated,” stated one employee, who requested that her id be withheld, fearing retaliation from her employer. “I’m a single mom of two. I don’t find that fair.”
The suspensions occurred at the JFK8 warehouse, the identical one the place workers voted to hitch the Amazon Labor Union six months in the past.
Seth Goldstein, an lawyer for the ALU, stated they have been planning on submitting labor costs towards the corporate with the Nationwide Labor Relations Board for retaliation and discrimination towards individuals partaking in union exercise and voicing issues about employee security.
“This is a travesty and a full investigation needs to be conducted,” Goldstein stated.
James Lally, a spokesperson for the Division of Labor’s Occupational Security and Well being Administration, stated the workplace is conscious of the fire and is investigating the state of affairs. A spokesperson for the NLRB didn’t return a request for remark immediately.
The Washington Submit first reported on the suspensions.
Paul Flaningan, a spokesperson for Amazon, confirmed round 50 workers have been suspended. He stated the corporate helps workers’ rights to protest over working circumstances however added that it wasn’t applicable to occupy areas contained in the warehouse.
Workers who arrived for the night time shift on Monday night spent the primary hour-and-a-half within the breakroom unable to go onto the warehouse flooring, with no data from their managers as to why or what had occurred, in keeping with a number of workers who spoke with Gothamist.
When managers finally began sending them to the warehouse flooring after round 8 p.m., many described a noxious scent of burning chemical substances and smoke nonetheless lingering within the air, significantly on the higher flooring.
“The smoke and the fumes were still in the air,” stated Derrick Palmer, an organizer for the ALU. He labored a morning shift, however arrived at the ability to help workers that night time. He was additionally suspended the following day. “I saw workers coughing, complaining.”