New York blasts Amazon for firing employee during COVID-19 emergency

first_imgAmazon didn’t immediately comment on the letter. The unions also called for independent monitors to investigate whether Amazon facilities adhered to guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for social distancing during the pandemic.As coronavirus cases pop up in Amazon’s 800,000-strong workforce, some employees in warehouses across the country have expressed concerns about the company’s commitment to their safety. Workers at sites in Chicago and near Detroit walked off the job after the Staten Island protest.Amazon has said it ramped up cleaning in its facilities and is sending home, with pay, people diagnosed with Covid-19 and those who they came into close contact with. It has also temporarily boosted wages and overtime payments, and said employees can take unpaid time off without penalty through the end of April.The firing of Smalls had already drawn responses from other New York officials. On Monday, New York State Attorney General Letitia James said her office is “considering all legal options” in response to the termination, which she called “immoral and inhumane,” and is urging the National Labor Relations Board to investigate. On Tuesday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he had ordered the city’s Commission on Human Rights to “investigate Amazon immediately” to determine if Smalls was retaliated against.The AFL-CIO is the main US labor federation, with 55 unions that together represent 12.5 million people. The letter is also signed by presidents of five of the largest US unions, including the Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union.Those two unions, which aren’t part of the AFL-CIO, together represent about 3 million more workers. The document is a sign of union leaders’ increasing focus on Amazon as a key target and reflects greater cooperation within the labor movement as they take on the behemoth firm.Amazon and labor groups have a frosty relationship. The retailer has managed to avoid organized labor in its ranks in the US, even as it grew into the country’s second-largest private employer in the US. A similar group of unions in February asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Amazon’s market power. Amazon.com’s firing of a walkout organizer has spurred criticism and calls for reinstatement by the largest labor groups in the US. Labor leaders and dozens of New York state and city elected officials urged Amazon to reinstate Chris Smalls, the leader of a walkout Monday over health and safety conditions at the company’s Staten Island, New York warehouse.Smalls was fired after the protest, in which workers asked Amazon to close the facility for cleaning after cases of Covid-19 were confirmed within its ranks. Amazon said Smalls was dismissed for violating a company-ordered quarantine after coming into contact with someone infected with the disease. Smalls said he was fired for his activism.“We write to you today shocked at reports that Amazon warehouses are not practicing the protocols necessary to protect the well-being of your workers and of the public,” said the letter, addressed to Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos and other executives, and signed by the leaders of the AFL-CIO, United Food & Commercial Workers International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, among others.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Match referee King impressed by Bermuda

first_imgHAMILTON, Bermuda, (CMC) – Former West Indies fast bowler Reon King says he was impressed by Bermuda’s “tenacious” display at the ICC T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier, which saw the island twice upset the more fancied United States to advance to the next stage ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.King, who served as match referee at the week-long round-robin tournament, which also included Canada and the Cayman Islands, said: “I think the resilience and tenacity of Bermuda stood out for me.”Bermuda – boosted by the return of Sussex all-rounder Delray Rawlins, who scored a half-century and a 49 before missing the final game – finished second behind unbeaten Canada and advanced to the ICC T20 World Global Qualifier in the United Arab Emirates in October and November at the expense of the US, who came third ahead of the winless Caymans.“I think it was a wonderful tournament,” 43-year-old King added.“Canada and USA were obviously the powerhouses with their experience. USA had just been promoted to ODI status and Canada had a bone to pick with them, so you had good rivalry.“Bermuda played very well at home and Cayman Islands didn’t disgrace themselves, so I think it was a very good tournament for all four teams.“Certainly there were a lot of positives. Obviously there’s some areas where the teams need to tighten up on, and with experience and more opportunities that will certainly happen.”Guyanese King, who claimed 53 wickets in 19 Test appearances and a further 76 ODI wickets for the West Indies between 1998 and 2005,.was impressed by his first visit to Bermuda.“It is a very beautiful, nice island,” he said. “Very small, very friendly people.“We received a lot of support, especially from the umpiring fraternity that came and assisted us. Very keen fellows in terms of some of the umpires that worked with us as fourth officials.”last_img read more