Amazon’s Great Labor Awakening
The Eastwell Warehouse complaint took the company to task for not doing enough to implement social-disruptive measures or protect employees from the virus, noting that many workers were allowed to wipe only one antimicrobial cleanup per shift and They had to “sanitize” themselves what other workers had on previous changes, including scanners, touch screens, keyboards, carts, and other warehouse equipment. “The complaint states that disposable gloves were not given to employees at Eastvale and that the warehouse workers were not receiving face masks until the week of April 6, until they were reported ill.
The petition was signed by Amazon United demanding more than 400 workers at the Eastwell warehouse. He listed his first name only: Acme, Alberto, Andrea, Brandon, Brian, Carissa, Christian, Derek, Destiny, Esmerelda, Essen, Faith, Faye, Freddy, Guadalin, Gwendolyn, Hector, Holly, Aisha, Iris. …
As soon as the lawsuits were filed and the petitions signed, workers started coming out of warehouses across the country. In October, about three dozen Amazon employees from Minnesota quit their jobs to protest the firing of a colleague, who was vocal about better warehouse conditions. The Minnesota warehouse was the first known group in the United States to call on Amazon management for negotiations and have since become the site of protests.
In November, the “Make Amazon Pay” coalition, a group made up of workers, activists and politicians, unveiled a list of demands on its website: Better protection and pay for workers, curbs on monitoring, zero emissions by 2030 Commitment to Termination of Amazon Web Services Agreement with Fossil Fuel Companies and Termination of Relationships with Police Department and Immigration Officers. It also demanded that Amazon employees be allowed to settle and the company pays the full share of taxes. The following week, it posted an open letter to Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO, signed by 401 politicians from 34 countries.
It was around this time that the Sangh efforts in Alabama were gaining traction. Last summer, the retail, wholesale and department store union began hearing from Amazon employees in a new facility in Birmingham in a working class suburb of Birmingham. Union president Stuart Appelbaum said Amazon workers expressed concern over the brutal pace of work, the risk of injuries, the Kovid-19 health and safety concerns and joint stress and job stress. The summer’s Black Lives Matter protest was also a factor: Many of the Bessemer facility employees are Black, as are most of the local leaders of Union Drive. “They were fed up with how they are being treated, their basic humanity,” Appelbaum said. By mid-January, workers and volunteers had collected 3,000 cards with signatures in support of unionizing.
In recent weeks, Appelbaum saw pictures of anti-union propaganda inside the bathrooms and said that the company was distributing “no vote” buttons to employees. Amazon established an anti-union site, DoItWithoutDues .com, and unsuccessfully pushed for in-person voting. But despite these tactics and the lack of other jobs, Alabama workers continued to form unions. “Imagine how bad it must be for people to come and support the effort of the event, given everything,” Appelbaum said.