Thursday September 29, 2022

Amazon is making “some management changes” at JFK8

Amazon fired several senior managers who were part of JFK8, a facility on Staten Island, New York, that recently voted for unionization. According to The New York Times, Amazon informed the managers that it was going through “organizational changes” but that some of their coworkers saw it as punishment for the union’s win. The Times also reports that more than half a dozen managers were fired and that many of them had been assigned to respond to unionization efforts. It is unclear what this could mean. It could be that the managers were given the task of keeping the union from winning and that they were fired because they failed to do so. It could also be that the managers were involved in helping the union in some way and were fired for that (though this would likely be illegal retaliation).
Both regulators and organizers have criticized Amazon’s actions during the campaign for the election. Workers voted to unionize 2,654 workers to 2,131. The company has been accused in the past of union busting, preventing workers exercising their rights and firing workers as a retaliation for organizing. Amazon challenged the election results, claiming that the National Labor Relations board and the union “suppressed” and “influenced” voters.
It’s not unusual for Amazon to fire underperforming employees. Last year’s report stated that Amazon’s goal was to let go of its lowest performing employees every year, sometimes without much warning. It seems unlikely that this is the case. The Times notes that some of these employees had received positive feedback about performance recently and that the timing for the firings doesn’t align with Amazon’s performance review cycle.
The Verge reached out to the company for comment, but the company told Engadget that it had spent time evaluating aspects and leadership at JFK8. It also indicated that it had made management changes.

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