When news spread April 1 that the independent Amazon Labor Union (ALU) had won its union election at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island in New York, the initial response from anyone who supports the labor movement was exultation at this unprecedented — and unexpected — victory for the working class. The secondary response was a collective “In your face!” to mega-billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who was shown that all the money in the world can’t crush the will for a union. Now, we can all move on to what should be the next response: Forcing the union establishment to take a long, hard look at what it needs to change. The ALU — a project of current and former Amazon workers as well as committed volunteer organizers — succeeded in organizing Amazon before any big, well-funded union could.
BY Les Leopold for Huffington Post. Building such a network, however, requires having faith in the power of education. It requires that we understand that runaway inequality ties us all together and can only be tackled through a broad-based common movement with a common agenda. This educational process asks us to have the confidence and courage to engage in dialogue with a wide range of people who also care about building a better society for themselves and their families. None of this will come easy. Our silos provide us with strength. We take pride in our identities and are empowered by them. Also, it is very difficult for us to even imagine what a common movement might look like, let alone how to build one. But we can be sure of one thing: Building a fairer and more just society will require a massive educational movement. As the Populists taught us, it can be done.