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Amazon GC Lets His Emotions Draft His Memo

April 8, 2022

After a wide-ranging discussion about how Amazon might acquire Covid tests and protective masks for its workers, solve the Covid problem for the world, and counter union organizing at its Staten Island facility, Amazon General Counsel David Zapolsky let his passions guide his pen and stuck his foot in his mouth. At the meeting, which included Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and SVP of Global Corporate Affairs Jay Carney, Zapolsky took notes, which were later leaked to VICE News, Zapolsky had some observations he felt compelled to share about warehouse employee Christian Smalls, a 33-year-old black former rapper who led the drive to unionize the facility, tattoos and all. “He’s not smart, or articulate, and to the extent, the press wants to focus on us versus him, we will be in a much stronger PR position than simply explaining for the umpteenth time how we’re trying to protect workers,” wrote Zapolsky. On April 1st, workers voted to unionize. Smalls was spied popping a bottle of champagne. “I hope that everybody’s paying attention now because a lot of people doubted us,” he said. In a statement to VICE News, Zapolsky said his “comments were personal and emotional,” and explained that he allowed his emotions to draft his words.

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