by Julia Love and Danielle Weisner
SAN FRANCISCO/New York (Reuters) – A group of Amazon.com workers filed indictment with US labor regulators on Thursday after a local leader and two employees were arrested outside the company’s warehouse. According to documents obtained by Reuters.
The group wants to form a syndicate at the New York company’s facility.
Christian Smalls told Reuters on Wednesday he was arrested while distributing food to warehouse workers as part of a union campaign.
Smalls, a former warehouse worker, wants to turn Amazon’s JFK8 Staten Island into a federalized facility. The activists will vote on the proposal from March 25.
The allegations of unfair labor practice, filed on Thursday by a group of workers, allege that the company violated an agreement reached with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in December.
As part of the agreement, Amazon has pledged not to limit workers’ ability to connect with their partners in areas outside the work environment during their time off.
In the indictment, the group accused Amazon of arresting employees Brett Daniels and Jason Anthony on Wednesday in retaliation for joining the organization.
Smalls previously worked at the warehouse and was fired in 2020 for allegedly violating the company’s security policies.
Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said the agreement governs employees’ rights to engage in (company) property, and that the company did nothing to stop employee engagement.
Amazon called the police on Smalls, not the other two workers, Nantel said.
“Small – who is not an Amazon employee – has repeatedly broken down despite numerous warnings. Yesterday, when officers asked Smalls to leave, he chose to escalate the situation and police made their decision on how to respond. Go,” said Nantel.
((Reporting by Julia Love, San Francisco; Daniel Weisner, New York))