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Amazon fires 2 workers critical of warehouse working conditions

San Francisco, April 14 (IANS) E-commerce giant Amazon has fired two technology workers after they criticised the working conditions of the company’s warehouse workers.

Amazon fired user experience designers Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa on Friday, according to a report in The Washington Post which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Cunningham also confirmed in a tweet on Tuesday that she was fired.

“Amazon fired me and @marencosta. As Mary Oliver wrote, ‘oh! how rich it is to love the world.’ It’s a gift to be able to fight for something you love so deeply. All I know is that we need each other. And that we can do this,” she wrote.

The two workers earlier criticised Amazon for its climate policies.

According to a report in The New York Times, a third employee, Chris Hayes, was also asked not to return to work.

Hayes reportedly circulated an invitation to join a virtual chat with workers of warehouse.

Even as Amazon is on a massive hiring spree as it has already filled 100,000 new jobs announced in March and plans to add 75,000 more to meet the surge in demand due to the COVID-19 crisis, the company continues to face criticism for the working conditions of warehouse workers.

Warehouse workers have complained about shortage of protective equipment to keep them safe and that the company has not proactively notified workers when their colleagues test positive for the virus, The Verge reported, adding that Amazon has been addressing the issues.

The company last month faced flak for firing Chris Smalls, a warehouse worker who helped to organise a walkout at the company’s Staten Island, New York, fulfillment center.

According to the retail giant, the company “terminated his employment for putting the health and safety of others at risk and violations of his terms of his employment.”

However, Small said in a statement that “Amazon would rather fire workers than face up to its total failure to do what it should to keep us, our families, and our communities safe.

The firing of the employee did not go down well with the US Senators and the general public.

After being slammed by legislators, unions and employees about health safety across its workforce at warehouses amid the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon said that it is taking major steps to protect the workers.

“Our top concern is ensuring the health and safety of our employees. We made over 150 process updates to help protect employees — from enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures to piloting new efforts like using disinfectant fog in our New York fulfillment centre,” Amazon said in a blog post on Monday.

The company said it distributed personal protective gear, such as masks for its employees, and implemented temperature checks across its operations worldwide, it added

–IANS

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