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Amazon terminates employee working to unionize warehouse in Kentucky

matt littrell.jpg
Matt Littrell
Before his termination, Matt Littrell, a picker for Amazon's warehouse in Campbellsville, was the lead organizer behind efforts to unionize the workplace.

Efforts to unionize the first Amazon warehouse in Kentucky have been dealt a setback.

The lead organizer says he’s been fired from the Campbellsville facility run by the world’s largest online retailer.

Matt Littrell says he was terminated from his job shortly into his shift on Friday night.

In a posting on Twitter, the picker said he was told by company leaders his dismissal was related to lack of productivity.

But Littrell says he’s been the target of write-ups, bullying, and discrimination since April. He claims Amazon is retaliating against him after serving as the face of the movement to improve pay and working conditions.

Littrell didn't respond to WKU Public Radio for a request for comment on Monday. A statement from the company says Littrell had been given three warnings since May 2022 for performance issues and was consistently performing in the bottom 5% compared to his peer, despite being coached and offered additional training.

“The facts of this situation are clear and completely unrelated to whether Mr. Littrell supports any particular cause or group", said company spokesman Paul Flaningan.

Littrell has been collecting signatures among the 800 employees at the Taylor County facility who are eligible to cast a union vote. A vote was planned by the end of the year, but Littrell's termination casts doubt on the future of the movement.

Littrell says he’s filing an unfair labor practice against Amazon in an effort to get rehired with back pay.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.