Amazon in recent days fired two Amazon warehouse workers with ties to unionization efforts at the company’s Staten Island JFK8 warehouse, according to the employees, days after the New York Times reported the company had fired six senior managers at the Staten Island facility.
Tristan Dutchin, a former package picker at the JFK8 warehouse, as well as Mat Cusick, a communications director for the Amazon Labor Union who sorted packages at the nearby DYY6 facility, told CNBC and Vice on Monday they had been fired by the company.
Dutchin—who was featured in several news outlets’ coverage of the Amazon Labor Union—said he was told he had failed to meet the company’s productivity goals, while Cusick said he was fired for being absent for three days after taking company-approved Covid- 19 sick leave.
Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told CNBC the firings were unrelated to the employees’ organizing efforts and said Amazon has to take “appropriate action” when employees can’t meet minimum expectations.
The news comes several days after the Times, citing four anonymous current and former employees, reported Amazon fired more than half a dozen managers, many of whom were involved in the unionization efforts, a month after the Staten Island facility voted to unionize in the first major victory for the company’s labor movement.
Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told Forbes last week the company decided to make management changes after evaluating “operations and leadership” at the facility, adding Amazon believed it was important to “take time to review” whether it was “doing the best” it could for its team.
The Amazon Labor Union did not respond to a request for comment from Forbes.