Video produced and edited by Paula Pecorella and Meg Herschlein
Amazon fired a worker named Ezra Hudson who vocally supported the union drive in Bessemer, AL. Ezra’s coworkers left their stations on April 30 to march to HR and hold Amazon accountable for the blatant retaliation. They’re demanding that Amazon reinstate Ezra immediately.
Below is a transcript of the full video:
Isaiah Thomas: We are here to demand the reinstatement of one of our coworkers who was unjustly fired.
Ezra Hudson: I think they’re trying to scare people that support the union. I don’t think they thought I would push back. They thought I was just gonna walk away.
Ezra Hudson was fired from Amazon without a clear explanation after vocally supporting the union drive in Bessemer, AL
Ezra Hudson: I worked at Amazon for almost one year. I worked on the ship dock. I was getting ready to head to work. I looked and I had an email from Amazon, told me I was terminated. The first time they called me, they said it was because of my missed punches, I was terminated. Then the second time they called me, she said you are terminated not because of missed punches, because of rules and regulation. And I tried to ask her, “what are the rules and regulations?” She wouldn’t give me an answer.
Sharon Hudson, Ezra’s mom: We’ve had two different explanations as to why he was terminated, and neither one of them really makes sense. And to get an email while he’s on his way to work saying you are terminated. Really?
Ezra Hudson: They didn’t have management, or nothing, come to warn me. They didn’t give no write up. None of that, all I got was a termination email. Then I asked her, I said, “Is it cuz I’m a union supporter?” She’s like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about”. I think the real reason I got terminated is because I did a bunch of union activities. I passed out flyers, passed out t shirts, and stuff like that to help the union.
Interviewer: Do you wear the shirt you’re wearing now a lot in the facility?
Ezra Hudson: Pretty much every day. [laughs] Managers knew I was a union supporter. the little handouts that we would lay out, my picture was on a lot of those. It was on the union poster that we have with a bunch of people.
Interviewer: What did your coworkers do when they got this news?
Ezra Hudson: When they found out, they started talking about doing an action about it. Help me get my job back.
On April 30th, Ezra’s coworkers left their stations and marched to HR to demand that Ezra be reinstated
Isaiah Thomas: We can only presume he was terminated on the basis of his continual vocal support of forming a union. Retaliation against workers for supporting their union drive is a violation of Section 7 of the NLRA, and we have no doubt you are aware of this. Enough is enough. I mean we’re just tired. You know, you overwork us, you underpay us, and then you just want to fire us for any reason? I think of Ezra as my own family. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. And we’re not gonna go down without a fight.
Ezra Hudson: I dont think they thought the employees at Amazon were gonna stand up and push back to get my job back. It makes me feel good about standing up to push back.
Ezra filed a charge with the NLRB alleging Amazon retaliated against him
Workers fell 118 votes short in the March 2022 union election, with 416 challenged ballots still to be counted
Amazon spent $4.3 million on union-busting last year
Ezra and his co-workers are demanding accountability
Isaiah Thomas: I live paycheck to paycheck. They fire me that ruins my life. They fire him, anybody else, that could ruin their life. So we have to make this big statement, by walking off our stations and saying, “you can’t just treat us like this”. And we have to stand up for one another.
Sharon Hudson: This job has meant so much to all of us, me as his mom, his wife and children who depend on him.
Isaiah Thomas: Everybody that knows him knows he does his job well, and that he’s always willing to help out other people.
Sharon Hudson: He just feels that having a union, helping the workers, is the right thing.
Ezra Hudson: I loved working for Amazon. I worked my ass off on the ship dock. They made the biggest mistake by letting me go.
Videographer: Chris Sessions