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Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon settled Wednesday with two former tech workers it fired after they criticized the e-commerce giant's management of warehouse workers and its impact on climate change.

Why it matters: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found in April that Amazon had illegally fired Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa.

  • The NLRB told the company it would accuse it of unfair labor practices unless it reached a settlement with the workers, the New York Times reported at the time.

Context: Cunningham and Costa joined dozens of Amazon workers last year in reporting company retaliations to the labor board.

  • While Amazon has long faced accusations of unfair labor practices, scrutiny has increased during the pandemic, Axios' Shawna Chen notes.
  • Amazon's warehouse employees are considered essential workers and cannot work from home, increasing their potential exposure to the coronavirus.

What they're saying: Cunningham and Costa said in a joint statement the settlement was "a win for protecting workers rights, and shows that we were right to stand up for each other, for justice, and for our world."

  • "It's also not lost on us that we are two women who were targeted for firing," they added. "Inequality, racism, and sexism are at the heart of both the climate crisis and the pandemic."
  • An NLRB spokesperson confirmed that a non-board settlement had been reached in the case.

The other side: An Amazon spokesperson did not address the inequality claims when contacted by Axios, but said in an emailed statement: "We have reached a mutual agreement that resolves the legal issues in this case and welcome the resolution of this matter."

Go deeper

Big Tech's donation dollars

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Tech's leading companies — like the rest of corporate America — responded to the murder of George Floyd by police in 2020 in part by pledging to give big to racial justice groups.

  • Our analysis of these companies found that, by and large, Big Tech paid up.

The E-commerce shopping spree

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Retailers have gotten really good at selling stuff online. So much so, investors want them to separate from the business units that do just that.

Why it matters: Spinning off these crown jewels may jeopardize both the physical and e-commerce sides of the companies in the long run by breaking the benefits of hybrid operations, analysts say.

2 hours ago - World

U.S. envoy to visit Sudan as "most dangerous" crisis intensifies

The sit-in in Khartoum. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty

U.S. envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman will visit Khartoum this week amid what Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has called the “worst and most dangerous" crisis of Sudan’s transition to democracy, two sources with direct knowledge tell Axios.

Driving the news: Roughly 2,000-3,000 people had joined a sit-in in Khartoum as of this afternoon, per Reuters, after protesters massed over the weekend to call on the military to bring down the government. The protests came just four weeks after a failed military coup.