After Amazon employees in a huge warehouse on Staten Island scored a shocked union victory last month, he turned union leaders into celebritysent shockwaves through the broader labor movement Other pushed the politicians across the country to rally behind Amazon workers. It now also appears to have created fallout within Amazon’s management ranks.
On Thursday, Amazon informed more than half a dozen senior executives involved in the Staten Island warehouse that they would be fired, according to four current and former employees aware of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
The layoffs, which occurred outside of the company’s typical employee review cycle, were seen by executives and others working at the facility as a response to the Amazon Labor Union victory, three people said. Warehouse workers voted by a wide margin form the company’s first union in the United States, in one of the biggest wins for organized labor in at least one generation.
Word of the jolt spread through the warehouse on Thursday. Many of the managers had been responsible for implementing the company’s response to the organizing effort. Many were veterans of the company, with more than six years of experience, according to their LinkedIn profiles.
Workers who supported the union complained that the company’s health and safety protocols were too lax, particularly regarding Covid and repetitive strain injuries, and that the company pushed them too hard. to achieve performance goals, often at the expense of sufficient breaks. Many also claimed that warehouse wages, which start at over $ 18 an hour for full-time workers, were too low to live in New York City.
Read more about the Amazonian union
An Amazon spokesperson said the company made the management changes after spending several weeks evaluating aspects of “operations and leadership” at JFK8, which is the company’s name for the warehouse. “Part of our culture at Amazon is continuous improvement and we believe it is important to take the time to assess whether or not we are doing the best we could be for our team,” said Kelly Nantel, the spokesperson.
Managers were told they would be fired as part of an “organizational change,” two people said. One of the people said that some of the managers have done very well which have recently received positive reviews.
The Staten Island facility is Amazon’s only fulfillment center in New York City and for one year the facility’s current and former employees Organized to form an emerging and independent union.
The company he is challenging the elections, claiming that the union’s unconventional tactics were coercive and that the National Labor Relations Board was biased in favor of the union. And the union is working to keep the pressure on Amazon, so it will negotiate a contract.
Christian Smalls, president of the Amazon Labor Union, tested on Thursday before a U.S. Senate committee who was exploring whether companies that violate labor laws should be denied federal contracts. Mr. Smalls later he participated a White House meeting with other union organizers in which he directly asked President Biden to pressure Amazon to recognize his union.
A White House spokesperson said it was up to the National Labor Relations Board to certify the recent election results, but said Biden has long supported collective bargaining and workers’ rights to unionize.
Amazon said it invested 300 million dollars only on safety projects in 2021 and which provides pay above the minimum wage with solid benefits like health care to full-time workers as soon as they join the company.
Believed to be corporate officers and consultants more than 20 mandatory meetings a day with employees ahead of the elections, in which they tried to persuade workers not to support the union. Officials highlighted the amount of money the union would raise from them and stressed the uncertainty of collective bargaining, which they believe could leave workers in worse shape.
Labor experts say that such claims can be misleading because it is very unusual for workers to see their wages decrease due to the union bargaining process.
This is an evolving story. Check again for updates.
Grace Ashford contributed to the reporting and Sheelagh McNeill contributed to the research.