UFCW Local 21 recently helped two former Amazon workers file an unfair labor charge against their employer with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after they were fired from their positions. Last week, UFCW Local 21 announced that they helped these workers reach a settlement in that case.
In the spring of 2020, the two workers, Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, were fired from their jobs at Amazon. They were told it was due, in essence, to a violation of policies. However, they believed it was in response to, and in retaliation for, their protected and concerted activities in support of Amazon’s warehouse workers. These two workers approached UFCW Local 21 to request assistance in filing an unfair labor charge against Amazon. After consideration, that case was filed by UFCW Local 21 and the local assigned the case to their legal counsel.
The National Labor Relations Act protects workers’ concerted and collective actions – regardless of whether that worker is in a union. The law also allows a union to file a case on behalf of non-represented workers if those workers seek that representation. That is what happened in this case.
The settlement agreement on NLRB Case No 19-CA-266977 was reached on Sept. 29. The settlement includes a requirement that Amazon make a posting notifying tech and warehouse workers of the settlement notice and that they have the right under the law to express themselves in collective and concerted activity. This posting is required to be done nationwide. Amazon must also document their compliance with the posting notice and then provide evidence of that documentation of compliance directly to UFCW Local 21.
“Being able to assist not yet unionized workers who were acting in accordance with the law and who were fired has been an honor and responsibility we took very seriously,” said UFCW Local 21 President Faye Guenther. “We felt that the workers had a strong case from the beginning, and we want to encourage all workers to speak out in a collective and constructive way to improve their workplaces if they so choose.”