Failed fight against first union: Amazon fires executives

Shortly after the vote to establish the first union representation in its warehouse, Amazon fired several involved executives. The New York Times reports, citing former and current Amazon employees. Many of those affected were responsible for the company’s handling of attempts to found a union – speaks of the sometimes angry resistance. It was not enough and the organizers of the vote became famous: Christian Smalls, founder and head of the Amazon Labor Union, was received last week in the White House by US President Joe Biden and his Vice President Kamala Harris.

ALU chief Chris Smalls (center, next to Joe Biden) at the White House

(Image: The White House)

The layoffs of Amazon executives are now out of the usual schedule, continues the US newspaper. Some of those affected have worked for Amazon for years. Internally, the layoffs are seen as a reaction to the success of the Amazon Labor Union. However, Amazon itself talks to the newspaper about a week of “management and management evaluation” that preceded the decisions. “Continuous improvement” is part of the corporate culture. Those affected contradict the New York Times and point out that some have recently received positive reviews.

At Amazon, there have been and still are several attempts to create union representation in the online retailer’s facilities across the country. So far, this has only been successful at Amazon’s JFK 8 warehouse in Staten Island, New York. In early April, employees voted by a clear majority to establish an employee representative body. “We have just made history,” said a statement from the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), it was one of the greatest achievements of a generation. Like other large companies, Amazon is fighting against setting up works councils at its locations and is spending millions on it. The company filed a lawsuit against the Staten Island vote.


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