Amazon union organizer in NY says opposition tactics similar to those in Alabama

The organizer behind unionization efforts at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island says the e-commerce giant is using similar tactics to ones used at an Alabama facility earlier this year.

Chris Smalls, a former Amazon employee who launched an independent campaign at the JFK8 fulfillment center, told Hill.TV that the methods being used in New York mimic those from Bessemer, Ala.

“We’re seeing the same thing we’ve seen in Bessemer, Alabama. The company’s putting up signs in restrooms. They sent out text messages to the workers,” Smalls said. “They actually have security now escorting or trying to escort us off the property, and these are current workers they’re doing this to.”

“Amazon has always had issues with communication,” Smalls said. “Workers have to refer to a phone app for direction most of the time. They send messages on these apps thinking that workers are in tune of what they have to do on their first day or first week, and that's not really the case.”

“A lot of these workers don't even know who their managers are, their supervisors are when they first get hired. They don't know the rules or regulations. They definitely don't know the policies,” he added.

When reached for comment, Amazon spokesperson Maria Boschetti said, “Mr. Smalls and his group continue to spread misinformation about Amazon."

Boschetti added that Smalls was terminated "for putting the health and safety of others at risk and violating the terms of his employment."