The Union victory today of Amazon workers in the Staten Island, NY warehouse is exciting and great news. In addition, the too-close-to-call election results at the Bessemer, Alabama Amazon warehouse is also encouraging news
The 8,000 workers at the Amazon Warehouse in Staten Island NY voted “union yes” by joining a new independent union, the Amazon Labor Union (ALU).
In an outstanding example of independent self-organization, workers prevailed against a massive, multi-millionaire dollar anti-union campaign of coercion, threats and intimidation.
The Amazon workers, led by Christian Smalls, who was fired for leading a walk out over lack of COVID safety protocols two years ago, were not to be denied. They drew important lessons from the pandemic – workers must organize to have dignity, respect and safe working conditions. They were undoubtedly encouraged by the wave of new worker militancy around the country as well as growing public support for unions. And they were rightfully fed up with a company raking in billions in profits while refusing to share the wealth created by the workers’ labor.
The APWU welcomes this news - the first union beachhead in the battle for workers’ rights against a massive, anti-union company and their greedy billionaire executives. It is a powerful first step which will undoubtedly serve as an inspiration to the one million U.S. Amazon workers who need a union to win better wages, benefits, workplace safety and a true voice at work.
The organized labor movement should unite and build a multi-union crusade to help organize Amazon workers throughout the country. We should help propel the movement forward, whether Amazon workers choose to join an established union such as the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) in Alabama, or others, or if they organize new independent initiatives such as the ALU in Staten Island.
We salute the determination of the Amazon workers in Staten Island and Bessemer, AL in standing up to their bosses.
Unionization at Amazon holds a special significance for postal workers who work in the same mail/package/delivery industry. When one group of workers rises, we all rise.
The APWU stands ready to assist the newly organized workers in Staten Island in any way we can in the coming and challenging battle to win a good first union contract and stands ready to work with all Amazon workers and all unions in building Amazon workers’ power at Amazon.