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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

New Research: Amazon’s Monopoly Tollbooth In 2023

Amazon’s dominance of online retail means that businesses that make or sell products have little choice but to rely on its site to reach customers. Amazon exploits its power as a gatekeeper to pocket a growing cut of the revenue earned by these businesses. It does this by imposing ever-larger fees on them. In effect, Amazon controls a monopoly tollbooth that sits between businesses and the online market. Over the last few years, it has sharply raised the price of passing through it. In the first half of 2023, using a variety of fees, Amazon took 45 percent of sellers’ revenue in the U.S. That’s up from 35 percent in 2020, and 19 percent in 2014. These exorbitant fees make it nearly impossible for small businesses and other sellers to sustain a viable business online. Most fail.

Countering Dangerous Work At Amazon

Amazon workers at the STL8 fulfillment center in St. Peters, Missouri, filed an OSHA complaint August 3 against the company for health and safety violations in their warehouse. The complaint claims that the company deliberately discourages workers from receiving medical care when they are injured. Workers say that AMCARE, Amazon’s in-house medical staff, repeatedly dismiss medical complaints and keep Amazon workers on the job despite sustaining sprains, torn ligaments, slipped discs, pinched nerves, and concussions. Amazon employs more than 3,000 workers at STL8, northwest of St. Louis.

How Immigrant Warehouse Workers Took On Amazon And Won

"I've never been an organizer,” Khali Jama says, “but I’ve always fought.” As a single mother, a Muslim, and a Somali-American worker living in Minnesota, Jama has always had to fight for the life she, her family, and her fellow workers deserve. And earlier this year, after bringing that fight to the Minnesota state legislature, Khali and her coworkers achieved a major victory. “On May 16,” Lisa Kwon reports in PRISM, “Minnesota lawmakers passed the nation’s strongest Amazon warehouse worker protection legislation with the Warehouse Worker Protection Act, which ensures that workers can take breaks during the workday and have access to relevant quota and performance standards and data on how fast they’re working.

Wage Gains At UPS Have Amazon Workers Demanding More

Amazon warehouse worker Paul Blundell has spent the past year talking to his co-workers about how UPS Teamsters were getting organized to strike. So recently, he had big news to share: “A few days before the strike deadline, UPS caved.” “Everybody’s jaw dropped” when they heard that night shift workers at the Philly UPS air hub will get an immediate raise to $24.75, Blundell said. “We top out around $20.90 after three years, so UPS is now starting well above that—with raises for the rest of the contract.” UPS part-timers also have low-deductible health insurance coverage with no premiums, and pensions.

Striking Amazon Drivers Extend Picket Lines To Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia – On July 26 Amazon workers and community members picketed ATL 6, the Atlanta Amazon Sortation Center. The Amazon drivers in Palmdale, CA extended picket lines to Atlanta as part of their unfair labor practice (ULP) strike against Amazon. The Palmdale Amazon Drivers voted to join Teamsters Local 396 earlier this year and ratified a contract shortly thereafter. Amazon responded to the workers forming a union by retaliating and terminating the newly organized drivers. As a result, the Drivers began their ULP strike. “We’ve currently been on strike for over a month now since they cut our contract early because we unionized with the Teamsters,” said Jessie Moreno, one of the Palmdale Amazon drivers.

Chasing Clicks Through Ad Money, Media Does PR For Amazon

Every year, America’s corporate media celebrates the coming of that most sacred and deal-laden of holidays, so-called Amazon “Prime Day.”  The media fanfare around Prime Day is such a staple that it has become a perennial strategic rallying point for Amazon workers trying to draw attention to Amazon’s low wages, unsafe working conditions, and aggressive anti-union corporate culture. These are year-round problems that ramp up to 11 during the taxing and brutal period before, during, and after Prime Day, when workers are pressured into long hours, exposed to high temperatures, and given impossible performance metrics to hit.
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