Amazon Union Demands Union Reps in Discipline – Want Bargaining to Begin in May – Strike Threat on the Table

Amazon Labor union activists celebrate their victory on Friday (GETTY IMAGES)

Folks, 

Big news tonite, and then I promise I will take a couple of hours off from coverage. 

The independent Amazon Labor Union is demanding that Amazon immediately recognize the union & begin bargaining in early May. 

ALU also demands that workers have ALU representation in all disciplinary hearings & discipline be subject to bargaining – their federal right. Labor lawyer Seth Goldstein is representing them. 

Goldstein’s legal strategy won ALU the right to hand out food & talk union in breaks rooms on Amazon property. Union activists gave out free meals and weed to fellow Amazon workers while building community within the Warehouse using the break rooms. 

From Jodie Kantor & Karen Wiese’s masterpiece profile of the union drive in the New York Times: 

By Christmas, the organizers scored a major legal win. Amazon agreed to a nationwide settlement, among the largest in the agency’s history, that said workers could stay in the buildings to organize when they were off the clock.

With that, the organizers moved their potlucks indoors, giving them more access and legitimacy. Mr. Smalls’s aunt provided home-cooked soul food: macaroni and cheese, candied yams, collard greens, and baked chicken.

“What you do is you create a community that Amazon never really had for workers,” said Seth Goldstein, a lawyer who represented the organizers free of charge.

One day this February, Mr. Smalls was bringing lunch to the break room when Amazon called the police, saying he had trespassed. He and two current employees were arrested. The response may have backfired: The union’s videos of the episode on TikTok have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

For more, check out the full masterpiece in the New York Times.

Strikes are on the table at Amazon. Workers there had previously wildcat strikes at the beginning of the pandemic. 

The fight for a 1st contract will likely involve the threat of strikes at other warehouses & abroad. 

Check out my profile here for more on how the pandemic & BLM redefined strikes. 

We will keep updating you as we learn more about this exciting moment in the labor movement. 

Donate to Help Us Cover Post-Amazon Victory Organizing. If you can, please consider signing up as one of our 677 recurring donors today. 

Thanks for all of your support to make it possible to cover this crucial fight at Amazon. 

Love & Solidarity, 

Melk 

About the Author

Mike Elk
A protege of Bill Greider, Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter who covered Lula & the drug war in Brasil, and spent years covering union organizing in the South for The Guardian. In 2015, he used his NLRB settlement from being fired illegally for union organizing at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh, where he grew up in a UE union household. Email: [email protected]

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