Workers Assembly Against Racism news advisory
After organzing to form an independent worker-led Amazon Labor Union (ALU) for the last six months, workers at Amazon’s Staten Island JFK8 warehouse and the surrounding facilities (LDJ5, DYY6, DYX2) announced they would file for election Oct. 25 at 2 p.m., in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y.
Pro-worker organizations, including the Workers Assembly Against Racism, Workers World Party and others, are sending delegations to Brooklyn that day to show solidarity with Amazon workers and the ALU.
The ALU has successfully built a workers’ committee and signed up over 2,000 workers. Amazon whistleblower Chris Smalls said at a news conference as he announced the planned filing with the Region 29 Brooklyn NLRB office, “On Sunday October 17, 2021, members of the committee democratically ratified our constitution and elected me as president of the ALU.
Continuing, Smalls stated, “Since the campaign has launched, Amazon didn’t waste any time to begin union-busting. “We have endured the same antics seen in Bessemer, Alabama from signs in the bathrooms to the same firm that was hired: T.B.G. The Burke Group was hired by Amazon to walk around the buildings creating doubt amongst the workers.”
Regardless of Amazon’s anti-union attempts ALU has earned the trust of the workers, hosting a number of barbecues, as well as handing out food and cold water, along with masks and T-shirts daily. Amazon refuses to acknowledge ALU as a current worker-led collective, instead sending out false messaging telling workers they will lose their voices and wages.
Members of the committee will be addressing their experiences and why they have decided to join ALU.
Smalls said, “We are proud to be joined by our comrades and several community organizations from the NYC metropolitan area to help support the efforts of the ALU. Workers are demanding Amazon stop their union-busting practices and allow workers to use their rights to organize toward collective bargaining without interference.
The ALU president explained, “ALU has put together a list of demands which we have full intentions to fight for as a bonafide union. We intend to fight for higher wages, job security, safer working conditions, more paid time off, better medical leave options and longer breaks. We also want to fight to bring back monthly VCP [variable compensation pay] bonuses for attendance and productivity and for becoming shareholders again upon employment with the company on day 1. Both ended in 2018.”
Smalls emphasized, “This is truly a remarkable historical moment for all Amazon workers all over the country. ALU has already broken barriers and will continue to do so, but we’re not getting complacent. We now need the support of the communities more than ever as our fight is just getting started.”
Article based on WAAR release. For more information, see amazonlaborunion.org, Twitter: @Shut_downAmazon