This Holiday Season Could Be Watershed Moment for Amazon Organizers

This article was originally published by Labor Notes. Could this November see the biggest coordinated international day of action at Amazon yet? Although Thanksgiving is a unique U.S. holiday, the day after — known as “Black Friday” — is celebrated in many countries as the opening of the Christmas shopping season. In Italy, for example, merchants offer Black Friday discounts that fill their stores with the same bargain-hungry shoppers as in the U.S. That’s why three Italian trade union federations chose it as a strategic day in 2017 to strike Amazon’s million-square-foot distribution center in Castel San Giovanni, near Piacenza…

Biden Officials Propose Reclassifying Uber, Lyft Gig Workers as Employees

On Tuesday, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the proposal of a rule that could pave the way for millions of workers in the gig economy to be classified as employees in a significant win for labor advocates who have been fighting for better standards for gig workers for years. The new rule will allow millions of people working for companies like Uber and Lyft — along with those working in construction, janitorial services, home care, and more — to be classified as employees if they are “economically dependent” on their work for the company. While it isn’t a binding…

Amazon Warehouse Workers Wage Work Stoppage in Protest After Fire Breaks Out

Hundreds of Amazon workers waged a work stoppage in protest after a fire broke out in their warehouse in Staten Island, New York, on Monday, according to the union that represents the workers. According to Amazon Labor Union (ALU), over 650 employees began protesting at around 8 pm on Monday, saying that they could still smell fumes from the fire that had broken out in a trash compactor earlier that day. Night shift workers were taken to the break room when the fire broke out, and refused to leave after they were told by managers to return to work, the…

Corporations Are Spending a Ton to Stop Low-Wage Workers From Unionizing

Thousands of workers across the country have been busy gathering signatures from their co-workers in the past year. Candy makers at a Hershey’s factory in Virginia. Cooks at a Chipotle restaurant in Michigan. Six employees at a Dollar General store in Connecticut. Their goal: form a labor union to force their bosses to negotiate better pay and benefits after years of brutal working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them are low-paid service employees trying to establish the first unions at multibillion-dollar companies. The recent spike in labor organizing is unusual, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis…

Google and Amazon Workers Demand End to Contract That Fuels Israeli Apartheid

Hundreds of community members and workers across four cities gathered to protest Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion contract between Google, Amazon, and the Israeli government and military, on Thursday. “There can be no tech for war. No tech for apartheid,” Alex Hanna, director of research at the Distributed AI Research Institute, expressed to a crowd of demonstrators led by Amazon and Google tech workers. While the cloud-computing project has been hailed as a “game changer” for Israel, activists have feared that it will lead to data privacy issues, especially if utilized by the Israeli military to further the surveillance and…

Tech Workers Are Demanding End to Contract That Fuels Israeli Apartheid

Hundreds of community members and workers across four cities gathered to protest Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion contract between Google, Amazon, and the Israeli government and military, on Thursday. “There can be no tech for war. No tech for apartheid,” Alex Hanna, director of research at the Distributed AI Research Institute, expressed to a crowd of demonstrators led by Amazon and Google tech workers. While the cloud-computing project has been hailed as a “game changer” for Israel, activists have feared that it will lead to data privacy issues, especially if utilized by the Israeli military to further the surveillance and…

Take Action: Sign the petition to MGM: Cancel Ring Nation

Ring surveillance cameras pose a direct threat to our privacy, and Ring’s partnerships with the police subvert our Fourth Amendment rights. Millions of people— including users, their families, and casual bystanders—are surveilled daily by Ring cameras. Our whereabouts are tracked. The things we do and say are recorded. This amassed data can be shared with local police departments and their partners in government agencies. Given concerns around racist policing and the criminalization of abortion, the stakes for Black, brown, and pregnant people are high. It’s irresponsible for MGM to promote dangerous surveillance devices, like Ring, as family-friendly. Ring is not…

Amazon’s CEO Pay Is More Than 6,000 Times That of the Company’s Typical Worker

A tight labor market created a rare moment of leverage for low-wage workers last year. But Corporate America took no great leap forward on pay equity. A new Institute for Policy Studies report, Executive Excess 2022, reveals how low-wage corporations have continued to pump up CEO pay during the pandemic while workers are struggling with rising costs. The report zeroes in on compensation trends at the 300 publicly held U.S. corporations that reported the lowest median worker wages in 2020. At over a third of these firms — 106 in all — median worker pay either fell or failed to…

Labor Officials Find Amazon Threatened Pro-Union Workers With Wage Cuts

Labor officials have found merit in claims that Amazon illegally threatened workers during a warehouse’s union drive in Staten Island, New York, confirming allegations that the company made threats to withhold benefits from union workers during captive audience meetings. As first reported by Bloomberg, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) officials informed Amazon Labor Union (ALU) of its findings after the union brought a slew of illegal union-busting claims to labor officials. The NLRB is prepared to issue a formal complaint about the alleged violations unless the company settles, a spokesperson said on Thursday. Complaints from labor prosecutors are submitted to…

Labor Leaders Vow United Front Against Amazon Amid New Warehouse Union Election

Ballots will be counted today at a second, 1,500-worker Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York, that began voting last week on whether to unionize with the independent, worker-led Amazon Labor Union (ALU) led by retaliatorily terminated Amazon employee Chris Smalls. A win at the warehouse, known as LDJ5, would build on ALU’s stunning April 1 victory at the larger, 8,000-worker JFK8 warehouse just across the street, forming a second unionized workplace at the second-largest private employer in the United States. A victory would cement ALU’s place as a leading force in the U.S. labor movement that could set the…

Second Amazon Warehouse on Staten Island Will Hold Union Vote on Monday

The Amazon Labor Union (ALU) victory on Staten Island has transformed the terrain of the U.S. labor movement and has inspired millions of workers. On Monday, a second unionization vote will begin at another Amazon warehouse of 1,500 workers just across the street, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. If successful, this second victory at warehouse LDJ5 would further consolidate the power of the ALU and prove that their first win was not a fluke. A second successful unionization vote would also confirm the importance of the ALU’s grassroots organizing model and hasten what seems like an already inevitable wave…

Sanders Is Traveling to Rally With Amazon and Starbucks Workers This Weekend

This Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is traveling to both New York and Virginia in order to meet with unionizing Amazon workers and Starbucks workers on the same day. In New York City, Sanders will be meeting with Amazon Labor Union (ALU) organizers and workers, ALU President Christian Smalls announced on Twitter on Wednesday. “The workers [with Amazon Labor Union] are taking on one of the most powerful companies in the world and one of the wealthiest men in America,” Sanders said. “I’m proud to stand in solidarity with them and support their fight for dignity on the job. See…

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