Help Us Cover Post-Amazon Victory Organizing

Amazon Labor Union celebrates win in New York (Reuters)

Help Us Travel to Cover Post-Amazon Organizing

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Today, the NLRB announced that the independent Amazon Labor Union in Staten Island has won an election to represent Amazon workers at its warehouse. Workers voted for the union by a margin of 2,654-2,131. 

The Staten Island union election is a historic victory. It marks the first time an Amazon warehouse has been unionized and it will likely inspire more unionizing efforts. 

The effort was led most incredibly by an independent union formed by rank and file workers and without the support of a major union. Workers formed the union on their own after a group of 60 workers went on a wildcat strike in March of 2020, resulting in the union’s president Christian Smalls being fired. 

No one in the labor establishment saw the victory at Amazon on Staten Island coming and no one saw 170 Starbucks store unionizing. What else could happen this year that no one has predicted?

This victory could inspire more rank and file organizing efforts elsewhere. For years, activists have been told that it’s impossible to organize Amazon, but now workers have achieved the impossible. 

With so much organizing, Payday is creating a special fund to go out and cover union organizing in wake of the union victory at Amazon. 

Our special organizing fund will be used for travel costs, and in some instances when I can’t travel because of long Covid issues, we may use these funds to hire a freelancer. 

Over the past six years, Payday has had a big impact on the way workers are covered with 2021 being a record for us. Last year, we were there on the ground in Bessemer, Alabama when the union drive was defeated and our work was widely cited by publications like the New Yorker and ProPublica. 

Our work covering the strike wave has had a huge impact and we think our coverage of this Amazon victory will similarly have a huge impact. 

Last year, The Washington Post cited our work tracking strikes in a front-page cover story. The New York Times described us as a publication with “new energy.” PBS American Portrait profiled our work tracking the strike wave, and Esquire described our work as “invaluable.” 

We are excited once again to cover the exciting organizing that will likely happen in the wake of the victory at Amazon, but need your support. 

Donate Today to Help Us Cover This Incredible Moment Following the Amazon Victory

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 2016, he used his NLRB settlement from being fired illegally for union organizing at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. The son of retired United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he was once described as an "abrasive gadfly" by the New York Times for his role in exposing sexual misconduct in the labor movement. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Email: [email protected]

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