Amazon settles with workers who slammed work conditions

Amazon settles with employees allegedly fired for criticising working conditions

Amazon had terminated the employment of Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, who had accused the company of enforcing policies in a discriminatory fashion

Cunningham and Costa gained prominence for pushing the e-commerce giant to do more on climate change. Credit: AFP Photo

Amazon.com Inc and the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said on Wednesday the company had reached a settlement with two former employees who alleged they were fired last year after they criticized the working conditions at the e-commerce giant's warehouses.

Amazon had terminated the employment of Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, who had accused the company of enforcing policies in a discriminatory fashion and instituting rules that "chill and restrain" the staff from exercising rights, according to their charge filed in October.

NLRB found in April that Amazon illegally fired them for advocating for better working conditions during the pandemic.

The US agency said the company had reached a non-Board settlement, whose terms were not disclosed, with the two former employees. A non-Board settlement is a private agreement between parties, where they agree to resolve cases by settlement rather than litigation.

The NLRB Regional Director, however, is required to review and approve the private settlement agreement before allowing the charges to be withdrawn.

"We have reached a mutual agreement that resolves the legal issues in this case and welcome the resolution of this matter," an Amazon spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

CNBC first reported about the settlement.

Cunningham and Costa gained prominence for pushing the e-commerce giant to do more on climate change, questioned Amazon's pandemic safety protocols and worked to raise money for warehouse staff at risk of contracting Covid-19.

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