If our The homepage does not remind you that today (and tomorrow) is Prime Day.For Prime members, this means transaction, transaction, transactionFor Amazon warehouse workers, this usually means mandatory overtime, or the company’s acronym MET. MET has strengthened an already heavy work schedule: a typical warehouse shift includes 10 hours of relentless manual labor and two 30-minute breaks. (Delivery drivers’ policies are not consistent, because most of them are Contractor Network, But it can be said that their workload will increase accordingly. ) At the same time, there are other things being strengthened: the review of Amazon’s working conditions.
The recent trade union movement in Bessemer, Alabama brought national attention to the labor issues of the e-commerce giant, and caused criticisms like this Bernie Sanders And representative Andy Levine Michigan State Congressman, member of the House Education and Labor Committee.Early this month Washington post Published a report stating that Amazon’s poor safety record last week New York Times Subsequently, the company conducted an investigation into the company’s human resource errors and headaches during the pandemic.Jeff Bezos nodded to some of the criticisms in a letter to shareholders in April, promising to make Amazon the “best employer on earth” and the “safest place to work on earth” (even if he is about to leave the planet behind).Although the labor protests around Prime Day Nothing new, They can say that they have more teeth this year.
Therefore, although shoppers are trying to save some expenses this week, some groups across the country are trying to organize the company’s large and expansive workforce. They are merging from multiple angles.
First, the dream of unionizing the Bessemer warehouse still exists.After decisive Lost Union elections in April, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) Challenged As a result, they accused Amazon of improper behavior. It is expected that the National Labor Relations Board will make a decision soon. If the hearing officer makes a ruling in favor of the union, she can order a re-election, although Amazon can appeal such a ruling.
At the same time, a more intense union movement is taking place near Staten Island, New York. It is led by the independent Amazon union, which is made up of ordinary workers. Teamsters mainly represents logistics workers and is the largest trade union in the country. It also hints that it has some important work to do. “Focusing on one facility at a time and relying on weak and difficult-to-enforce legal procedures in the United States is not enough to defeat a monopolistic company like Amazon,” Amazon Teamsters National Director Randy Korgan wrote in salon Before their annual meeting this week.
Rebecca Kolins Givan, a professor of labor relations at Rutgers University, said that any organization on Amazon, no matter how big or small, faces great difficulties.Bessemer demonstrated the company’s powerful strategy: a $375 per hour union sabotage consultant, months of information campaigns scattered through countless communication channels, and its power to change Traffic mode Whim. “Amazon has the law and billions of dollars in backing,” Given said. For organizers, “thinking about creative ways to solve these challenges is just a good thing.”
With a history of 118 years and a membership of 1.4 million, the Teamsters union has a wealth of resources and experience. But Christian Smalls, a former Staten Island process assistant, believes that Amazon needs an unconventional approach. Last year, after Smalls led a strike to protest the company’s response to Covid-19, Amazon fired him.Rear Leaked meeting minutes Amazon’s general counsel called Smalls “unintelligent or slurred” and planned to make him “the spokesperson of the entire union/organization movement.” Smalls began to let the company eat it. He helped establish the Basic Workers’ Congress, a one-year-old labor organization that supported the Amazon union in the drive of Staten Island.