Judge Rules Amazon Must Reinstate Worker who Led Unionization Efforts

    Photo: Natt Garun [via The Verge]

    The Facts

    • A judge ruled on Mon. that Amazon must reinstate and issue back pay to a worker who was let go after leading protests against safety conditions.

    • The company claimed Gerald Bryson was fired over insults exchanged with another employee while he was protesting outside of the JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island, New York.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Amazon violated Bryson's employment rights. This finding holds the online behemoth accountable for its illegal and discriminatory actions.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Bryson cursed at and bullied a co-worker in the immediate vicinity of the workplace. Amazon were right not to tolerate his behavior and are entirely justified in appealing the ruling.

    Cynical narrative

    The David-versus-Goliath victory of Amazon employees in New York unionizing doesn't guarantee that the consolidation of worker power will spread to other locations. It isn't yet clear whether this is a one-off occurrence or the start of a trend. In any case, Amazon will certainly use its enormous resources to tackle efforts to unionize elsewhere.

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