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Amazon Labor Union Wins Again At National Labor Relations Board

“The ALU is officially a certified UNION! This is a HUGE moment for the labor movement! Solidarity everyone! Let’s continue to fight for what we deserve!” This jubilant statement was tweeted out Jan. 11 by the Amazon Labor Union after the National Labor Relations Board officially named it the sole bargaining representative for workers at Amazon’s JFK8 warehouse. The NLRB issued its ruling over nine months after the ALU won a representation election by a wide margin at the Staten Island, New York, facility. Rejecting all 25 of Amazon’s objections to the election results, the Board gave Amazon until Jan. 25 to file a “request for review.” Once the ALU won the election April 1, 2022, Amazon could have immediately begun negotiations with the union for a first contract. Instead the union-busting behemoth chose to delay its obligations by filing spurious charges, alleging election misconduct against the ALU and the NLRB.

New York Targets Amazon With Warehouse Worker Protections Impact

New York - New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signed a bill into law Wednesday that aims to crack down on stringent warehouse work quotas at companies like Amazon. The law, known as the Warehouse Worker Protection Act, requires distribution centers to disclose work speed data to their employees so they better understand their productivity rate and the company’s expectations. It also bars companies from firing workers because they failed to meet quotas that weren’t transparent or didn’t allow enough time for rest and bathroom breaks. The law applies to any company with a large distribution center in the state, but the most obvious target is Amazon. The Seattle-based online retail giant is the largest employer of warehouse employees in the country.

Global Actions On Black Friday Unite Workers To ‘Make Amazon Pay’

Over the last 27 years Amazon has grown from a little-known online bookseller to a global sprawling logistics and delivery empire, overtaking brick-and-mortar retailers with its e-commerce offerings and threatening to make serious inroads on last-mile carriers like FedEx, UPS, and the Postal Service. Recently Amazon even established a virtual health services company: Amazon Clinic. As the company’s tentacles reach around the world, organizing its massive 1.5 million workforce necessitates new levels of international union cooperation and solidarity. UNI Global Union, a federation representing logistics and service workers headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, stepped up for the third year in a row to coordinate worldwide actions on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Black Friday.

Amazon Workers Protest Appearance By Amazon CEO At NYT DealBook Summit

New York – Members of the Amazon Labor Union, joined by local labor and community supporters, will protest outside the New York Times’ DealBook Summit, beginning at 10 a.m., November 30. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy is one of the event’s scheduled speakers. “If Jassy comes to New York he should come to bargain a contract with Amazon workers, not bluster or practice union-busting,”  said Amazon Labor Union President Chris Smalls. “It’s time that Amazon and the company’s CEO respect the rights of workers and join ALU in improving working conditions, rather than acting as an uncaring, B.S.-spouting, corporate law-breaker.” During Jassy’s tenure as Amazon’s CEO which began this year, the e-commerce giant has used highly-paid union busters to suppress the rights of its workers, harass organizers and delay bargaining as required by law. 

Amazon Workers Strike In The US And 30 Other Countries On Black Friday

Today, Amazon workers and activists are protesting to secure better working conditions across the globe. The campaign is led by Make Amazon Pay, a coalition of 70 trade unions and organizations including Greenpeace, Oxfam, and Amazon Workers International. "The pandemic has exposed how Amazon places profits ahead of workers, society, and our planet," Make Amazon Pay wrote in a list of demands shared on its website. "Amazon takes too much and gives back too little. It is time to Make Amazon Pay." Protests were planned in more than 30 countries, including India, Germany, and Japan, according to Make Amazon Pay. In the US, protests are expected in more than 10 cities from coast to coast at Amazon's main headquarters in Seattle, Jeff Bezos' penthouse in New York City, Whole Foods stores, and Amazon warehouses.

On Black Friday, Workers Of The World Unite…Against Amazon

For at least the third year in a row, workers worldwide will mark “Black Friday,” this year on Nov. 25, with mass protests, this time against one of the most exploitative companies on the planet, Amazon. Entitled the “Make Amazon Pay Day of Action,” demonstrations are scheduled in at least 32 countries by at least 80 unions against the monstrous corporate giant and its mistreatment of its workers. “Amazon is squeezing every last drop it can from workers, communities, and the planet,” declares Our Revolution, the activist group of Bernie Sanders backers that is one of several dozen organizations, including international union coalitions, seeking participants in the protests. “We are workers and citizens divided by geography and our role in the global economy, but we’re united to Make Amazon Pay fair wages, its taxes, and for its impact on the planet.” They have good cause.

Peak Season For Action At Amazon

Could this November see the biggest coordinated international day of action at Amazon yet? Although Thanksgiving is a unique U.S. holiday, the day after—known as “Black Friday”—is celebrated in many countries as the opening of the Christmas shopping season. In Italy, for example, merchants offer Black Friday discounts that fill their stores with the same bargain-hungry shoppers as in the U.S. That’s why three Italian trade union federations chose it as a strategic day in 2017 to strike Amazon’s million-square-foot distribution center in Castel San Giovanni, near Piacenza in Northern Italy. The San Giovanni facility opened in 2015. Two years later, half of the 1,650 permanent “Blue Badge” employees struck on Black Friday. While there had been some previous job actions at Amazon in Germany, this was one of the first Amazon strikes in Europe, or, in fact, anywhere.

Prime Week Walkouts Hit Amazon, From Air Hub To Delivery Station

Amazon’s vast distribution network is staggering. There’s the invisible lacework of surveillance algorithms and artificial intelligence. There are the visible footprints: trucks, robots, hulking warehouses. And then there are the workers. It takes more than a million people, most of them low-paid and grindingly exploited, to pick, sort, unload, ship, and deliver packages to customers’ doors within days of an order. Last week workers took aim at disrupting this symphony of human capital with walkouts at four distinct warehouse types in the company’s logistics chain—a cross-dock near Chicago, a delivery station and a fulfillment center near Atlanta, and in Southern California, one of the company’s large air hubs. The walkouts weren’t centrally coordinated. But they were all timed to coincide with the company’s Prime Day promotional sales rush, which ran October 10 to 12.

Amazon Wants Surveillance Robots In Every Home

Exciting news guys! Amazon has created a new robot, the Astro, to spy on people in their homes – and this one is smarter and sneakier than the Alexa. Tanya Basu of MIT Technology Review reports, “Amazon has a new plan for its home robot Astro: to guard your life  … The cute home assistant could be the most powerful, invasive home robot we’ve seen thus far.” It might be cute, but you have to ignore the fact that it’s watching you while you’re on the toilet and zapping your dog for getting in the way. “Amazon announced Wednesday that its home robot, Astro, will be getting a slew of major updates aimed at further embedding it in homes – and in our daily lives,” Basu continues. That’s not cute, it’s terrifying! Why does it have its own drones? Nothing that comes with drones is your friend. I don’t care if it’s a Dunkin’ Donuts Rainbow Cupcake. It shouldn’t have drones!

Three Amazon Warehouses Catch Fire; Workers Protest Unsafe Conditions

Amazon warehouses caught fire in New York and Alabama this past week, endangering hundreds of workers. In the unionized Staten Island facility, workers marched on managers and staged a sit-down in protest over Amazon’s disregard for their safety—and the company lashed back with mass suspensions. The HSV1 fulfillment center in Madison, a suburb of Huntsville in northern Alabama, caught fire Monday evening, October 3, for a second time in two weeks. “Our plant caught on fire again,” an Amazon worker at the HSV1 told WAFF. “This time it was in the same area, but it was a couple aisles over. You could still smell smoke in there. Half the warehouse was off limits.” That same day, another fire broke out, this one in a cardboard compactor on a shipping dock at the Staten Island fulfillment center JFK8—the same one where, in April, workers won the first-ever unionized Amazon warehouse in the country.

Boxed Out: How Predatory Buying Is Killing Off Small Businesses

Walmart, Amazon, and other powerful, well-financed companies have captured control over much of retailing. These giants maintain their extraordinary market position not by competing on the merits of their service. Instead, they exert their power as dominant buyers of food and goods to bully suppliers, extracting discounts for themselves while forcing independent retailers to pay more. This is threatening those small businesses, wounding competition, and hollowing out communities large and small. It’s a monopoly tactic we call “predatory buying.” In this report, we examine the history of these abuses, the law Congress passed in 1936 to protect independent businesses’ right to compete on fair terms, and the pro-bigness coup that stopped enforcement of the law in the 1970s.

Staten Island Amazon Workers Stage Work Stoppage After Fire At Warehouse

At least 100 unionized employees at an Amazon fulfillment center on Staten Island refused to return to work for several hours on Monday evening after a fire broke out at the facility. Chris Smalls, president of the Amazon Labor Union, said 500 workers refused to return to work, after a fire blazed on a shipping dock beside the warehouse. “Amazon refuses to let night shift be excused with pay,” Smalls said. “Amazon management is threatening time deductions and written warnings for not returning back to the floor. The dock smells like burnt chemicals.”

No Tech For Apartheid Israel

In this episode of The Watchdog, former Google employee Ariel Koren joins Lowkey and articulates her experience at the big tech giant, claiming it has gradually developed an institutionalised pro-Israeli bias. She also reveals ways in which employees attempting to hold the company accountable for unethical contracts, such as that of Project Nimbus, are being targeted and intentionally silenced. Google, alongside Amazon, has signed a contract worth $1.2 billion, titled “Project Nimbus”, which will provide a cloud system service for both the Israeli military and the Israeli government. Disturbingly, the project was announced May in 2021, the same month Israel killed at least 260 Palestinians in Gaza. Adding insult to injury, it was during this period that Amnesty International found Israel guilty of practising Apartheid against the Palestinian people.

No Tech For Apartheid

Tech workers held actions in multiple cities Sept. 8, demanding Big Tech drop its Project Nimbus contract with the apartheid police state of Israel. Project Nimbus is a $1.2 billion-dollar contract Amazon and Google have with the Israeli government and military for “cloud computing” that aids in surveillance and persecution of the Palestinian people through artificial intelligence. Actions were held in Seattle, New York City, San Francisco and Durham, North Carolina. In Seattle, activists spoke about reasons why workers will not support the Zionist project and oppose the cooperation of Israeli forces with the Seattle Police Department. The Palestinian people face untold horrors of oppression by the Israeli government.

Companies Are Required To Report Their Union Busting, But Many Don’t

$4.3 million in one year spent on anti-union activities at Amazon. $2,625 a day to stop UPS drivers from fighting for their survival amid heat waves and a lack of air-conditioning in their trucks. Over $1 million spent on the union-busting firm Labor Relations Institute to stop stressed-out truck drivers at concrete distributor Cemex from unionizing. Without the mandatory filings with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) of 1959, few of us would know about the extent of companies’ union busting or the consultants they engage to lurk in warehouses and on worksites to undermine workers’ union sympathies.
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