Tag: Amazon

Hip-Hop Now

David Vs Goliath: NY Amazon Workers Voted To Form Its 1st Union In The U.S.

Talk about power to the people!

Source: ANDREA RENAULT / Getty

Many of us love Amazon’s 2-day shipping convenience and safety, especially during the pandemic, but it comes at a terrible human cost. There was little mainstream support for recent labor movements like the fight for $15, mistakenly believing that a decent minimum wage would devalue other workers and make everything more expensive. As both corporate profits and the price of essentials like groceries, housing, and gas reached historic highs almost overnight, it’s clear that greed created the exploitation we’re all currently feeling.

After years of current and former Amazon employees demanding better pay, treatment, and working conditions, NBC News reports that workers at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, successfully formed the company’s first union in the United States. The National Labor Relations Board conducted the election at Amazon fulfillment center JFK8, which voted 2,654 to 2,131 to join the independent Amazon Labor Union (ALU). This victory is a game-changer for the entire country, forcing the nation’s second-largest employer to bargain with several thousands of its employees if the labor board certifies the vote results.

Two years ago leaked notes revealed Amazon’s plans to slander Chris Smalls, the warehouse worker fired after he organized a walkout over the company putting profits before people at the start of the pandemic. Rather than provide PPE and pause operations to thoroughly sanitize fulfillment centers like JFK8 when COVID-19 cases swept through the workforce, Amazon leaders, including founder Jeff Bezos, met to strategize against Smalls by making him “the face of the entire union/organizing movement.”

Amazon General Counsel David Zapolsky said Smalls isn’t “smart or articulate” in the meeting notes from March of 2020, sizing him up as an easy target to take down. In 2021, Smalls formed the ALU to demand a living wage of $30 per hour, better benefits, and anti-discrimination policies that protect workers. Although several Democratic leaders cheered on Small’s victory, he said none of them stepped in to support the ALU and its struggling workers meaningfully.

Instead, Smalls credits his counterparts at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama for inspiring his successful grassroots organizing. The labor board is currently conducting a separate vote in Bessemer to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, or RWDSU. The National Labor Relations Board ordered a new election in Alabama after finding that Amazon violated labor laws by interfering in the union vote last year. The latest election in Bessemer is still too close to call.

The tech giant used every trick to shut down the growing internal support for a labor movement, reportedly spending over $4 million on union-busting consulting and tactics. Without Bezos’ deep billionaire pockets or record-breaking profits, Small’s funded his resistance with less than $100,000 in donations to the ALU’s GoFundMe fundraiser. The fight is far from over for both sides of this historic vote. Amazon’s official response said it would likely challenge the election results.

“We’re disappointed with the outcome of the election in Staten Island because we believe having a direct relationship with the company is best for our employees,” said a statement Amazon posted on its company website. “We’re evaluating our options, including filing objections based on the inappropriate and undue influence by the NLRB that we and others (including the National Retail Federation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce) witnessed in this election.”

Smalls’ next challenge is to keep the victorious momentum going as workers at the LDJ5 facility, another Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, are set to vote on unionizing on April 25.

Congratulations to Chris Smalls and the victorious ALU workers!

Source link

Hip-Hop Now

Amazon Music Names Phylicia Fant Head of Music Industry Partnerships

Industry veteran Phylicia Fant is headed to Amazon Music. Fant has been named the head of music industry partnerships, a role created and designed to identify and oversee strategic music partnerships and...

Other News

Amazon founder’s ex-wife makes waves with billions in charitable donations

x Mackenzie Scott has distributed at least $8.6 billion in less than two years to 780-plus organizations. Ex-husband Jeff Bezos has ramped up philanthropy since transitioning from Amazon CEO to chairman,...

Hip-Hop Now

Drake’s Set Removed From Kanye West Amazon Prime Concert Edit

Drake’s performance with Kanye West was truly one night only. The historic “Free Larry Hoover” benefit concert took place last Thursday (Dec. 9) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but fans were...


Jeff Bezos ‘Heartbroken’ Over Amazon Tornado Deaths, Dragged for Delay

Jeff Bezos did some damage control Saturday night, saying he was “heartbroken” over the tragedy at one of his Amazon plants, where at least 6 people died as a tornado ripped through the...