New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered the city’s human rights commission to investigate Amazon’s firing of a Staten Island warehouse strike organizer, CNBC reported Tuesday. Warehouse workers walked off the job Monday over the company’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, saying the tech behemoth has not done enough to protect its workforce from infection. Workers in at least 10 warehouses throughout the U.S. have tested positive for the illness, including one in Staten Island. The company fired the organizer of a Staten Island strike, Chris Smalls, who said the company had retaliated against him. Amazon said Smalls was fired for repeatedly ignoring a quarantine order after coming into contact with someone who later tested positive for COVID-19.
“I’ve ordered the city’s commission on human rights to investigate Amazon immediately to determine if that’s true. If so, that would be a violation of our city’s human rights law and we would act on it immediately,” de Blasio said at a press conference Tuesday. New York Attorney General Letitia James also criticized the decision.