Chris Smalls was a warehouse worker at Amazon, who organized a workers’ safety-related strike in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to being fired, Amazon publicly attacked him on Twitter.
Additionally, according to documents obtained by Vice News, Amazon planned a smear campaign against Smalls, in order to discredit the company’s workers’ union. David Zapolsky, one of Amazon’s executives, made quite unpleasant claims.
“He (Smalls) is not smart or even eloquent. Since the press is focusing on a battle between us (Amazon) and him, we are in a much higher position in public relations because we will not explain again that we are trying to protect employees.” internal company memo, shared by Zapolsky.
Ironically, the disclosure of these documents will leave the company with a bad image in the public eye. Politician Bernie Sanders spoke on Twitter, giving support to Smalls and saying that it is “a disgraceful attitude, coming from the company owned by the richest man in the world”, referring to Jezz Bezos.
Zapolsky recognized the words and did not apologize.
Upon being exposed, Zapolsky admitted that he was swept away by his emotions but made no apologies to Smalls. Instead, the executive continued to demonize the former employee, saying that Smalls put employees’ health at risk by ignoring the company’s quarantine orders.
As they say in India: guilt does not die alone. Both parties appear to have acted inappropriately, leading to “laundry washing” on social media.