Amazon has headed off a public hearing into its firing of two employees who criticized its climate change policies and treatment of warehouse workers.

Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa were fired last year, in what the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled was an illegal action. The two had been set to take Amazon to court this week, but the company settled out of court days before the trial.

The settlement officially still needs to be approved by the NLRB regional director in Seattle.

Amazon fire
– Sebastian Moss

User experience design workers Cunningham and Costa repeatedly criticized Amazon's cloud deals with oil companies and mistreatment of its warehouse workers.

Amazon fired both employees, claiming they had violated internal policies, such as discussing the company without prior approval.

After an investigation, the NLRB found that Amazon illegally retaliated against its employees for organizing or participating in protests.

As part of the settlement, Amazon will have to pay their back wages and “post a notice to all of its tech and warehouse workers nationwide that Amazon can’t fire workers for organizing and exercising their rights.”

In a joint statement, Cunningham and Costa called the settlement a win for protecting workers rights.

"Tech workers standing up together have immense power to move the biggest corporations in the world," they said.

"Everything we love is threatened by climate chaos. Workers at every company need to be standing up for each other and the world, together. Now is the time to be our best, bravest selves. We can only do this together. We hope you’ll join us."

Google and its contractor Modis were also found by the NLRB to have illegally fired 'temporary' employee Shannon Wait for criticizing the treatment of workers. In the next issue, we speak to Wait and a number of Google and Modis employees about how Google's data centers are really run. Subscribe for free today.

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