On Monday, a fire broke out at Amazon’s only union warehouse in Staten Island, New York. so the workers organized a stop at the facility. CNN reported: that about 50 warehouse workers were suspended with pay a day later.

Bloomberg / Employee | Getty Images

Connor Spence, one of the now-suspended workers, told CNN that when the fire broke out, the entire facility was evacuated and day workers were sent home. However, when those working the night shift arrived, they weren’t told exactly what was going on, and managers eventually ordered them back to work, Spence told the outlet.

“The problem people had was that the building still reeked of smoke; it was hard to breathe on some workstations,” Spence said per CNN. “We wanted to be sent home with pay because it was unsafe.”

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Spence estimated that about 100 people took part in an organized strike and demanded to be sent home with pay due to unsafe working conditions. Spence said they decided to walk away when it became “clear” that their pleas were not being heard.

“The FDNY has certified that the building is safe, and at that point we asked all night shift workers to report to their regularly scheduled shift,” Paul Flningan, an Amazon spokesperson, told CNN. “While the vast majority of workers reported to their workplace, a small group refused to return to work and remained in the building without permission.”

After the incident, Spence told CNN that about 50 employees have been suspended with wages until Amazon investigates the episode.

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