Press Releases

Teamsters Demand Amazon Rehire COVID-19 Whistleblower

Union Calls for Amazon and other Logistics Companies to Put Safety First

Teamsters Joint Council 16 President George Miranda had the following statement in response to Amazon’s firing of Chris Smalls, who organized a walkout in protest of unsafe practices related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Joint Council 16 represents 120,000 workers and 27 local unions in Downstate New York and Puerto Rico, including workers in the warehouse, logistics, and package delivery industries.

“The New York Teamsters strongly condemn Amazon’s retaliatory dismissal of Chris Smalls after he and his coworkers bravely walked out in protest of the company’s failure to address serious safety concerns amidst this pandemic.

As logistics workers, our jobs are essential, but our lives are not expendable.

“All workers deserve a safe and healthy workplace, a voice on the job, and an environment free from retaliation. This is even more imperative during moments of crisis such as this. Hundreds of thousands of warehouse workers, delivery drivers, truckers, retail workers and other logistics workers ensure that the people of New York get the vital food, medicines, and supplies that we need. As logistics workers, our jobs are essential, but our lives are not expendable.

“It is inexcusable that Amazon, one of the most powerful companies in the world, attempts to silence workers who are standing up for their safety, the safety of their families, and the safety of our communities. Amazon should immediately reinstate Chris Smalls and address the safety concerns of JFK8 workers and all the other Amazon workers rising up across the country.

“Corporations like Amazon have billions of dollars, but as workers our greatest power is solidarity. The New York Teamsters stand in solidarity with workers in New York and across the country who are collectively demanding that our lives be put ahead of corporate profits.”

Photo credit: Make the Road NY