Amazon reinstates Alabama union advocate it fired Inc. on Thursday said it reinstated a vocal labor advocate that it had fired earlier this month at its warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., in what the union trying to organize employees there called a victory for the online retailer’s workers.

The employee, Jennifer Bates, was fired in early June following a monthslong workers-compensation dispute after suffering injuries while working at the warehouse.

“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,” Bates said in a statement from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.


said it encouraged Bates to file an appeal, and said she would be reinstated with back pay.

“As is our standard process for this type of situation, Ms. Bates had the opportunity to, and did, appeal her termination,” Amazon spokesperson Mary Kate Paradis said in a statement. “After a full review of her case, the decision was made to reinstate her.”

Bates was an early supporter for unionization at the Alabama warehouse. But the vote on whether to form a union has dragged on since 2020, amid allegations that Amazon, which has aggressively opposed unionization at its facilities, unfairly interfered with the election process. The National Labor Relations Board is reviewing the dispute.

The union this month blamed Bates’ firing on an “alleged paperwork issue” and “a glitch in the company’s own software” that handles day-to-day functions for warehouse employees. Amazon has said Bates did not respond to requests for information related to her leave. But the company said it could have been clearer about what materials were needed, hence the reinstatement.

Shares of Amazon finished the day 0.6% higher.

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