Sen. Sanders, Mayor Bill De Blasio, back Amazon worker fired for breaking coronavirus quarantine

By Chris White

Sen. Bernie Sanders is expressing support for an Amazon employee who was fired Monday for breaking a coronavirus quarantine while trying to organize a mass walk-out.

Amazon warehouse employee Chris Smalls was fired for violating a quarantine after he came into contact with a co-worker who tested positive for the virus, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. Smalls, who tried to orchestrate a walk-out at a New York warehouse, told ABC News on Tuesday afternoon that he was sent home Saturday on quarantine.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sanders are tossing their lot in with Smalls after the longtime Amazon employee suggested the company was retaliating against him for organizing the walkout, which resulted in only 15 workers walking out, according to a statement Tuesday from Amazon spokeswoman Lisa Levandowski.

“Mr. Smalls received multiple warnings for violating social distancing guidelines and putting the safety of others at risk,” Amazon said in a press statement. Still, Sanders, de Blasio, and New York Attorney General Letitia James want the matter investigated as they believe Amazon’s actions could indeed be retaliatory.

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, originated in China and is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people worldwide

“It’s disgraceful that Amazon, which is owned by the richest man in the world, is not only failing to protect its workers but has now fired a worker for protesting dangerous conditions,” Sanders, a Vermont Democrat, told his Twitter followers Tuesday night. “I stand with Chris and all Amazon workers fighting for their safety.”

De Blasio, for his part, ordered New York City’s Commission on Human Rights to launch an investigation to determine if Smalls was fired for raising health concerns.

“If so, that would be a violation of our city human rights law and we would act on it immediately,” the Democratic mayor said at a press conference Tuesday. “I should also note the sheriff’s office did an inspection of the facility to ensure that social distancing is being observed and they will continue to inspect as needed.”

James, a Democrat, also expressed anger over how she believes Smalls was treated. She said in a tweet Monday that the National Labor Relations Board should investigate Smith’s firing, adding that Amazon’s move is “disgraceful.” James said she is “considering all legal options.”

Smalls’s complaints about conditions at the warehouse came after reports in 2019 suggested the brutal working conditions at the company leave some workers to reach out for help before ultimately seeking relief through suicide. Emergency workers were summoned to Amazon warehouses nearly 200 times between 2013 and 2018, the Daily Beast reported in 2019, citing police records.

Neither Sanders nor de Blasio responded to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Image courtesy of Phil Roeder/Flickr
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4 thoughts on “Sen. Sanders, Mayor Bill De Blasio, back Amazon worker fired for breaking coronavirus quarantine

  1. Hey Bernie, DeBlasio in case you haven’t noticed, there’s a serious problem out there, and we all have to hang together. If some stupid idiot chooses to violate a social distancing policy after having been warned, I’d say he’s got a problem of his own making. As the man one said, “if you do the crime you do the time”. Hey guys get over it and devote your energies to useful pursuits. Particularly, DeBlasio whose senior health officer implored the masses to get out, ride the subways, go out to dinner, watch the parade, Now look at the mess you’ve got.

  2. Two commie peas in a pod, our commie burnee complains Trump is not doing it right or enough..yet his policies of not closing borders to infected and this support of an infected
    individual would assure the virus stayed around until a vaccine was invented and everyone
    immunized..wilhelm deboozo would let them spread it to VT….Commie sense makes no sense…

  3. He purposely met with someone with covid and then he went in and got in contact with many people who were not sick . To me that is borderline terrorism

  4. In a time when the world is suffering, your job is considered critical for the well being you want to have everyone strike? And our leaders support this, regardless of the quarantine statement, he’s lucky to have had a job and lucky he’s only being fired.

    Perhaps he could have waited 30 days? Some period of time before doing this? Epically bad timing, but then depending upon your goal, it could have been very strategic for the employee and leaders who back them up.

    You can tell a tree by it’s fruit.

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