Leading e-commerce retailer Amazon Inc. (AMZN) has announced firing three employees who have been constantly criticizing how the company is responding to the global coronavirus pandemic. According to the employees in question, measures put in place by the company to combat the pandemic grossly violate the rights of employees.
The first two employees to be fired include, Maren Costa and Emily Cunningham, the two, well vast designers, are accused of breaching the company’s internal policies severally, the company failed to disclose which policies had been breached.
The seasoned designers first gained public attention after publishing reports indicating the company should do more in the fight against climate change. Thereafter, they did additional reports expressing their dissatisfaction by how the company was dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
The two went further by pledging $500 to support exposed employees at a higher risk of contracting the virus.
In a press statement, Costa expressed her dissatisfaction by how Amazon could fire workers who only showed concern for fellow workers. “No company should punish their employees for showing concern for one another, especially during a pandemic!” said Costa.
Cunningham believes workers should be listened to during the pandemic since they are among the most exposed. “We have to really listen to the workers who are on the front line, who don’t feel adequately protected,” she said.
One Warehouse Worker
The third employee sacked, Bashir Mohamed, a warehouse employee in Minnesota, was dismissed for using inappropriate language and conduct.
Mohamed is said to have told reporters that he had been warning fellow workers about coronavirus even calling on the management to scale up cleaning since the company had been tripling down on cleaning according to him.
The 28 year old says the company cautioned him not to mobilize employees at the Minneapolis-area warehouse after it came to the company’s attention that he was informing them on the dangers they face from the virus.
He says Amazon was not pleased by the way he was talking and hence they started to target him.
In response, Amazon says Mohamed violated social distancing rules further adding the company respects workers’ rights however the rights should not be used as a scapegoat to endanger the lives of others.
“We respect the rights of employees to protest and recognize their legal right to do so; however, these rights do not provide blanket immunity against bad actions, particularly those that endanger the health, well-being or safety of their colleagues,” said Amazon.
According to the dismissal letter handed over to Mohamed, Amazon did not engage in social distancing rather says main reason was Mohamed refusing to talk to several team leaders.