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Amazon has been ordered to reinstate an unlawfully fired warehouse worker

Bryson was dismissed on April 6, 2020, following a protest at the Staten Island warehouse about working conditions

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Amazon ordered to reinstate unlawfully fired warehouse worker

Amazon must reinstate the worker who was unlawfully dismissed two years ago after protesting the company’s working conditions at a Staten Island fulfilment plant, a judge ruled on Monday.

An administrative law judge, Benjamin W. Green, found that Gerald Bryson, a former warehouse worker, also deserved back pay. The judge agreed with a National Labour Relations Board decision that Bryson was fired for criticising unsafe working conditions at the factory, which is a protected activity under federal labour law.

The decision comes after warehouse employees at the same Amazon plant in Staten Island opted to unionise. The union’s victory, a first for Amazon’s US operations, came after an aggressive campaign and charges that Amazon had engaged in unfair labour practices.

Bryson was dismissed on April 6, 2020, following a protest at the Staten Island warehouse about working conditions and lobbying for the facility’s shutdown amid the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. During the demonstration, Bryson got into a verbal spat with another Amazon employee who came out in support of the company.

Bryson’s dismissal, which Green called “illegal,” occurred as Amazon faced increased pressure from its staff during the coronavirus pandemic, with workers staging protests throughout the country to demand better working conditions. Many of these employees voiced fear that their warehouses may become breeding grounds for the virus, but the corporation maintained that it has systems in place to keep these locations safe.

Bryson’s dismissal occurred only days after Amazon dismissed three activist employees who spoke out against the corporation during the healthcare crisis. By early May, Amazon had dismissed six employees, four warehouse workers and two IT workers, who had voiced concerns about safety in Amazon warehouses during the coronavirus outbreak.

Bryson told The New York Times, “For me to win and walk back through those doors changes everything.” He added, “It will show that Amazon can be beat. It will show you have to fight for what you believe in.”

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