Amazon fires designers who criticized warehouse conditions

Amazon’s warehouses have come under scrutiny for how the company treats its workers.

Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

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Amazon has fired two employees after they spoke out publicly against warehouse conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. User experience designers Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa had apparently offered match donations up to $500 for warehouse workers, citing insufficient protections. The Washington Post, a paper owned by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, previously reported on the move. 

The company confirmed the firings in a statement emailed to CNET.

“We support every employee’s right to criticize their employer’s working conditions, but that does not come with blanket immunity against any and all internal policies,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “We terminated these employees for repeatedly violating internal policies.”

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The pair were also critics of the e-commerce giant’s climate policies. Bezos pledged in September to make Amazon carbon neutral by 2040.

Last month, the company fired New York warehouse worker Christian Smalls for violating “multiple safety issues” by defying instructions to stay home with pay for 14 days because he’d been in close contact with an infected employee. Smalls was a vocal organizer in a protest against working conditions at a Staten Island facility.

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