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The NLRB says it will hit Amazon with an illegal dismissal case if it doesn't settle with a pro-union warehouse worker - report

An employee pulls a cart at Amazon's JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York, U.S. November 25, 2020.
An employee pulls a cart at Amazon's JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York, US November 25, 2020.

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

  • The NLRB is prepared to issue an illegal dismissal complaint against Amazon, Bloomberg reports.

  • The complaint centers around Daequan Smith, a pro-union worker who was fired in October last year.

  • The NLRB found merit in a claim that Smith was fired in retaliation for his union activity.

A spokesperson for the National Labor Relations Board told Bloomberg the agency is prepared to file a complaint saying Amazon illegally fired a pro-union employee unless the company reaches a settlement with him.

Amazon worker Daequan Smith was fired in October 2021, according to an interview he gave with blog NY Focus. Smith is an active member of the Amazon Labor Union, an organization which filed for a union election at Amazon's four Staten Island facilities in December.

The ALU filed a complaint with the NLRB in November alleging Smith was fired in retaliation for his union organizing, Bloomberg reports.

An NLRB spokesperson told Bloomberg the agency found Smith's case had merit, and it will issue a complaint unless a settlement is reached.

Derrick Palmer, vice president of the ALU, told Bloomberg it would be a major win for the union drive if the NLRB got Smith his job back.

"It would be monumental for him to go back to the same building that he was terminated from and speak his truth and let workers know that it's OK to speak out," Palmer said.

Smith is currently experiencing homelessness according to a tweet from the ALU.

Neither Amazon nor the NLRB immediately replied when contacted for comment about the case by Insider.

Amazon is facing a groundswell in union organizing. A union drive at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama culminated in April last year with workers voting against forming a union. The NLRB later ruled the results of the election void, saying Amazon had illegally interfered, and ordered the Bessemer union election be re-held.

Read the original article on Business Insider