Amazon to face charges over allegedly illegally firing activist workers


Amazon is set to face charges over its alleged illegal firing of two activist workers last year.

The National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) will hold the hearing on September 28 to review the charges brought against the ecommerce giant.

Amazon sacked user experience designers Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa at the company’s headquarters in Seattle for “repeatedly violating internal policies,” in April last year.

The two designers said they were fired in retaliation for their continued criticism of Amazon’s climate policies and labour practices.

The NLRB found that there were grounds for review in Costa and Cunningham’s unfair labour practice complaint, which was filed in October.

The two designers alleged Amazon violated federal labor law by firing them “based on discriminatory enforcement of its non-solicitation and communication policies.”

Amazon’s non-solicitation and communication policies are there to prohibit Amazon employees from speaking about the company’s business operations without the approval of a manager.

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Costa and Cunningham also claimed that the policies restrained employees’ rights to engage in activities protected by federal labour legislations.

Amazon has previously said in April that it disagrees with the decision of the NLRB, however noted that it agrees that employees should have the right to speak out.

Despite this, the company said that employees however do not “come with blanket immunity against our internal policies, all of which are lawful.”

The ecommerce platform could still potentially reach a settlement with the pair before the hearing or during the trial.

The number of complaints against Amazon in regard to speaking out against company policies is growing to a high enough level that the NLRB is considering consolidating its efforts into a national investigation, CNBC reported.

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