That was fast: After two weeks, Amazon reinstates fired unionist Bates
Jennifer Bates, fired for union organizing at the Bessemer, Ala. Amazon warehouse, has been reinstated. | William Thornton/

BESSEMER, Ala. —Even anti-union Amazon can be embarrassed into doing something right. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union said on June 15 the big warehouse firm reinstated Jennifer Bates, the outspoken face of RWDSU’s organizing drive in Bessemer, Ala.

Amazon fired Bates just after she returned from months of disability leave days before. The news went viral on the web and Bates filed a labor law-breaking charge with the National Labor Relations Board. Amazon reversed course and returned her to work two weeks after it fired her.

“Amazon was wrong. They tried to fire me and stifle a movement, but the movement pushed back, and I’m incredibly humbled by the global outpouring of support for my unjust termination,” said Bates. “If there’s a lesson to be learned it’s that today Amazon workers everywhere now know when you’re under attack, you have to stand up and fight back, because when we fight, clearly, we win!”

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Press Associates
Press Associates

Press Associates Inc. (PAI), is a union news service in Washington D.C. Mark Gruenberg is the editor.