Oct 7, 2022 | News Story

Amazon Suspends Dozens of Workers Who Staged Walkout After Fire at Warehouse

Amazon suspended around 50 workers at a Staten Island warehouse this week for refusing to go back to work on Monday due to safety concerns over a fire that had happened at the facility earlier that day. The fire—and suspensions—occurred at the JFK8 warehouse, the same one where workers voted to join the Amazon Labor Union six months ago.

Workers who arrived for the night shift on Monday evening spent the first hour-and-a-half in the breakroom unable to go onto the warehouse floor, with no information from their managers as to why or what had happened. When managers eventually started sending them to the warehouse floor after around 8 p.m., many described a noxious smell of burning chemicals and smoke still lingering in the air, particularly on the upper floors.

After managers told the workers they would be hit with performance write-ups for “time off task” if they didn’t return to work, many workers returned to their posts but others spent the night in the break room or walked off the job entirely in a health and safety work stoppage. Federal law entitles workers to be protected from retaliation for voicing safety concerns. Read more in Gothamist. (photo via @AmazonLabor)