Chris Smalls launched a very popular strike action yesterday in the Staten Island warehouse. This cost him his place in the company.
To protest against working conditions during the pandemic of coronavirus, particularly against the hygiene measures which they found insufficient following the discovery of an employee suffering from the respiratory disease, the employees ofAmazon from the Staten Island warehouse went on strike yesterday. With labor protections for employees being what they are in the United States, strike leader Chris Smalls has been sacked. The strike movement comes at a particularly crucial time for Amazon, perceived as one of the only companies capable of meeting the demand for basic necessities of Americans, in semi-containment in some states. The Staten Island warehouse is strategic because it serves New York City and its 8.3 million inhabitants, but also the whole of New York State.
A strike quickly dismantled
We learned last week that the Staten Island warehouse was part, with 5 other warehouses, those affected by a case of coronavirus. As a result, Chris Smalls led a strike action demanding a warehouse cleanup and paid time off during the process. They also criticized the company for “not doing enough to protect them, respecting the hourly rate of orders sent is always requested, a directive that discourages safe barrier and sanitary gestures such as washing hands after coughing or sneezing“. As a result, Smalls and at least 50 people went on strike.
Licensed after several warnings
Amazon for its part ensured to work as hard as possible ”to keep employees safe while serving communities and the most vulnerable. ” The company confirmed to CNBC having dismissed the assistant manager, who declares for his part that “Amazon would rather lay off workers than face its complete inability to do what it should to keep us, our families and our communities safe.“. The ex-employee said to himself “outraged and disappointed, but not surprised”Because according to him“Amazon prefers as usual to sweep an issue under the carpet rather than take action for employees“. The company says he was fired after “multiple warnings” for violating social distancing guidelines and refusing to remain in quarantine after being in close contact with an employee who had tested positive.