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New York Amazon Workers Demand Paid Juneteenth Holiday

Six hundred of our Amazon co-workers at five warehouses around New York signed a petition demanding starting wages of $25 an hour, time-and-a-half pay for Prime Day (July 16-17), seasonal workers converted to permanent status within 30 days of employment, and Juneteenth as a paid holiday. The June 19 holiday celebrates the end of slavery in the U.S. and became a federal holiday in 2021—the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was recognized in 1983. We organized petitions across five warehouses: sort center LDJ5 on Staten Island, where packages are routed to local facilities; the massive fulfillment centers JFK8 on Staten Island and SWF1 in the Hudson Valley, where customer orders are packed; and delivery stations DBK4 and DNJ3 in Queens and the Bronx, where packages are put into delivery vehicles and dispatched to mailboxes or doorsteps.

Illinois Amazon Drivers Strike, Demand Union Contract

Amazon drivers at the DIL7 delivery station in Skokie, Illinois, struck June 26 over the company’s violations of federal labor laws. A hundred drivers have organized with Teamsters Local 705 and are demanding that Amazon recognize and bargain with their union, after presenting cards signed by a majority of the workforce. They’re nominally employed by a contractor, Four Star Express Delivery. But “every Amazon driver knows who our true employer is,” said driver Luke Cianciotto in a union statement. “We wear their uniforms and drive their trucks.” Four Star Express is one of 2,500 “delivery service partners” that carry out package deliveries while Amazon retains full control.

Amazon Workers Affiliate With The Teamsters, Next Up Electing Officers

Amazon Labor Union members voted June 17 to affiliate with the Teamsters. Workers cast 878 ballots at JFK8 Amazon fulfillment center on Staten Island, N.Y. The tally broke down to 829 votes in favor of the affiliation and 14 against it; 10 ballots were spoiled. Total turnout was 11 percent out of 8,000 workers. However, workers estimate the workforce has dipped to between 5,000 and 6,000 workers during the off-peak season. A Teamsters statement said the union will now “represent the roughly 5,500 Amazon warehouse workers.” Turnout works out to 16 percent based on that number. “On behalf of the Amazon Labor Union, I’m proud of our members choosing a path to victory. We're now stronger than ever before," said ALU President Chris Smalls in a statement.

Teamsters And Amazon Labor Union Announce Affiliation

The Amazon Labor Union and the Teamsters have signed an affiliation agreement. “Today is an historical day for labor in America as we now combine forces with one of the most powerful unions to take on Amazon together,” wrote ALU President Chris Smalls on Twitter, now called X. “We’re putting Amazon on notice that we are coming!” Smalls and Teamsters President Sean O’Brien signed the agreement on June 3, according to a copy obtained by Labor Notes. The affiliation agreement charters a new local known as Amazon Labor Union No. 1, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (ALU-IBT Local 1) for the five boroughs of New York City.

Data On Economic Insecurity Among Amazon Warehouse Workers

Today, the Center for Urban Economic Development (CUED) at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) released a new report detailing the results of a survey of 1,484 Amazon workers across 451 facilities in 42 states—the largest nationwide study of Amazon workers to date. The report shows that roughly half of Amazon’s frontline warehouse workers are struggling with food and housing insecurity and being able to pay their bills, with one-third relying on different kinds of public assistance programs. “This research indicates just how far the goalposts have shifted. It used to be the case that big, leading firms in the economy provided a path to the middle class and relative economic security,” said Dr. Sanjay Pinto.

Google Fired Us For Protesting Its Complicity In The War On Gaza

Earlier this month, the three of us, along with dozens of our co-workers, took part in a coordinated set of civil resistance actions at Google offices around the United States. Some workers occupied Google’s New York offices. Others occupied the Sunnyvale, California, office of Thomas Kurian, the CEO of Google Cloud. This protest was an escalation of the ongoing No Tech for Apartheid(NOTA) campaign, which has been demanding for years that Google and Amazon cancel Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion deal that Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services signed with the Israeli military and government in 2021.

Amazon, Wells Fargo Targeted On Day Of Action For Palestine

Maple Grove, MN — Pro-Palestine activists blockaded an Amazon distribution center in the northwestern Minneapolis suburb of Maple Grove as part of A15 Action, a global day of action against Israel’s war on Gaza. In a separate action in the Twin Cities, a Wells Fargo Bank branch in South Minneapolis was vandalized and had its windows broken. Starting at 7 a.m. on April 15, dozens of activists blocked all distribution from the Maple Grove Amazon facility for more than two hours, delaying an estimated 100-plus shipping trucks. Four different elements made up the blockade and protest with all four deploying simultaneously.

Our Big Push Was For Union Democracy And A Plan To Win

In 2022, Amazon workers on Staten Island made history. The JFK8 warehouse in New York voted to unionize, forming the first U.S. union in the company’s history — an independent union known as the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), representing over 8,000 workers. Since then, Amazon has been intransigently refusing to start contract negotiations. Union-busting tactics, such as the persistent firing of pro-union activists, continue at JFK8 and other facilities. Amazon even filed a case arguing that the National Labor Relations Board, the agency that enforces labor law, is “unconstitutional.”

America’s Richest Men Ask The Courts To Make Unions Illegal

Fourscore and seven years ago—1937, to be exact—our fathers on the Supreme Court (well, five of them, which was just enough) brought forth a new nation: New Deal America. In that year, the justices ruled that the most fundamental legislative works of Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency—Social Security and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)—were constitutional. So said the Court; so said, in the NLRA case, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, the decision’s author, who had been the Republican candidate for president in 1916.

You’re A Mean One, Mr. DeJoy

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – unless you’re a postal worker. Thanks to chronic understaffing and Amazon’s increasing use of the agency’s last-mile delivery service, the mail is piling up at post offices across the country and overwhelming already-overworked USPS employees. And that’s just the stocking stuffer: these Christmastime delays will become the year-round norm, from Janesville to Nashville to Whoville, if real-life Grinch Louis DeJoy gets his way*. As The Guardian’s Michael Sainato reported last week, the Postmaster General is currently implementing a “10-year austerity plan” that would slash working hours at hundreds of post offices and shutter vital postal sorting facilities.

Southern Human Rights Organizing And The Amazon Workers’ Struggle

Jennifer Bates is an organizer with the BAmazon Union , the effort to organize Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama. BAmazon Union is affiliated with the Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union (RWDSU). I spoke to Ms. Bates at the Southern Human Rights Organizers Conference (SHROC) which was recently held in Nashville. SHROC is an opportunity for human rights organizers and defenders to come together to share strategies, learn from each other, and build relationships. It’s a gathering of grassroots organizers and human rights defenders from across the U.S. and Global South.

Amazon Goes Into Union-Busting Overdrive

Our union campaign at Amazon’s “superhub” air cargo center, KCVG in Northern Kentucky, is taking off. And not surprisingly that’s prompting the company to go into union-busting overdrive. In the last two months of 2023, we’ve organized three marches on the boss—demanding translation rights for workers who are English language learners, and also challenging the company when they gave out “final written warnings” to 11 of us for union tabling activities, even though they were outside of work areas. The video of our first march on the boss got over 5 million views on Tik Tok.

Workers Protest And Strike On Global Day Of Action To ‘Make Amazon Pay’

Workers and activists in different parts of the world downed their tools and took to the streets on Friday, November 24, to mark the fourth global day of action to “Make Amazon Pay.” Convened by Progressive International and UNI Global Union, the campaign organized actions across 31 countries to protest the exploitative practices of the tech and commerce giant. The action was held on ‘Black Friday,’ which is considered to be the biggest retail shopping day in the US, with companies announcing major discounts and sales to lure buyers. “Workers know that it doesn’t matter what country you’re in or what your job title is, we are all united in the fight for higher wages, an end to unreasonable quotas, and a voice on the job,” said UNI Global Union’s general secretary Christy Hoffman.

UN Decries Amazon, Walmart, DoorDash For ‘Shameful’ Wages

The UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights has called on the CEOs of Amazon, Walmart and DoorDash and the US government to address allegations that top US corporations pay such low wages that they trap workers in poverty, forcing them to rely on government-assistance programs to survive. Olivier De Schutter has written to the three major US corporations and the US government, requesting responses to numerous allegations. They include a 2020 US Government Accountability Office report that found Amazon and Walmart were listed among the top 25 employers with workers relying on the supplemental nutrition assistance program (Snap), formerly known as food stamps, or Medicaid in nine states studied, with Walmart ranked first and Amazon ranked sixth.

Injured, Burned Out And Under Surveillance At Amazon

More than four in 10 Amazon workers report being injured on the job, and the number increases to more than half for those who have been working for the company for more than five years, according to a report released Wednesday.  Despite Amazon touting the grit of its ​“industrial athletes,” these widespread and pervasive injuries have, according to the survey, resulted in almost seven in 10 workers having to take unpaid time off from their jobs in the last month because of their pain or exhaustion from working at the company.  The report offers stark data of how Amazon, as a mammoth presence in the warehousing industry and customer service, can effectively set an unhealthy bar for the pace of production for its workers
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