Bloomberg Law
Jan. 23, 2023, 11:29 PM

Amazon Union Organizer in Alabama Says He Was Terminated (1)

Spencer Soper
Spencer Soper
Bloomberg News
Josh Eidelson
Josh Eidelson
Bloomberg News

An Inc. warehouse worker who helped lead a hotly contested union campaign in Bessemer, Alabama, said he was abruptly terminated without explanation.

Darryl Richardson, who advocated for workers to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, posted his termination notice from Amazon on Twitter Sunday.

“This is BS,” he said on Twitter. “Didn’t give me no reason why.”

Richardson referred questions about his termination to the union, which didn’t immediately comment.

Amazon said Richardson’s termination wasn’t related to his union organizing efforts.

“Like any employer, we ask our employees to meet certain minimum expectations and take appropriate action when they’re unable to do that,” spokeswoman Mary Kate Paradis said.

Amazon’s Bessemer employees in March voted 993 to 875 against joining the union during an election that remains in dispute because more than 400 contested ballots haven’t been counted and could influence the final result. The union lost a previous election there in 2021 by a two-to-one margin, but the National Labor Relations Board called a second vote after ruling that Amazon unlawfully interfered with the first election.

The labor board’s general counsel has repeatedly accused Amazon of illegally firing activists. In November, a federal judge in New York ordered Amazon to cease and desist from retaliating against employees for workplace activism. The company has denied wrongdoing.

Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island, New York, voted last year to join the fledgling Amazon Labor Union, a major defeat for the Seattle-based company. The leader of that union, Chris Smalls, alleges Amazon fired him for his workplace advocacy, back in March 2020. Amazon maintains Smalls was terminated for violating safety rules during the Covid-19 outbreak.

(Updated with Amazon comment in fifth paragraph)

To contact the reporters on this story:
Spencer Soper in Seattle at;
Josh Eidelson in Palo Alto at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Robin Ajello at

Jennifer Ryan

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