Editor's note: The above video on Amazon warehouse worker safety originally aired June 2, 2021.
NEW YORK – Amazon is settling with two former tech workers who accused the company of illegally firing them last year for speaking out against the company.
The former employees, Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, publicly criticized the Seattle-based company and pushed Amazon to better protect warehouse workers from COVID-19. They also wanted Amazon to do more to reduce its impact on climate change.
Cunningham and Costa, who worked at Amazon offices in Seattle, said the settlement means Amazon will have to pay them lost wages and put up notices saying the company can’t fire workers for organizing and exercising their rights.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday morning.
In April, the National Labor Relations Board found Amazon violated Cunningham and Costa's rights. At the time, Amazon said it fired the workers for violating internal policies, not because they talked publically about working conditions or sustainability.
Cunningham and Costa, who were user-experience designers at Amazon, were the two most prominent voices among a group of workers who wanted the company, which has a giant carbon footprint, to take more steps to combat climate change and to stop doing business with oil and gas companies. They held protests and spoke to the media about their concerns.
The pair had planned a call between Amazon warehouse and office workers to talk about unsafe conditions in the e-commerce giant's warehouses. Before it could happen, Amazon fired both women.