HomeWinBuzzer NewsAmazon Labor Union Joins Forces with Teamsters for Greater Leverage

Amazon Labor Union Joins Forces with Teamsters for Greater Leverage

The new affiliation with the Teamsters, a union representing 1.3 million workers, is expected to significantly boost ALU's negotiating strength.

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In a move aimed at increasing its negotiating power, the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) has partnered with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a labor union in the United States and Canada. The collaboration was solidified following a vote by ALU members.

The Labor Union was established on April 20, 2021, by a labor activist group led by Chris Smalls known as The Congress of Essential Workers (TCOEW). Smalls, together with Derrick Palmer, organized a walkout at the JFK8 distribution center to protest Amazon's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an action that resulted in Smalls' dismissal.

Collaboration of Unions 

The ALU, which advocates for Amazon warehouse employees in the United States, made headlines in 2022 by winning a union election at the JFK8 facility in Staten Island. Despite this victory, they have struggled to get Amazon to engage in bargaining talks, as the company continues to contest the election results.

The new affiliation with the Teamsters, a union representing 1.3 million workers, is expected to significantly boost ALU's negotiating strength. ALU President Christian Smalls noted that the partnership would offer additional financial and staffing support.

Employees at JFK8 encountered an aggressive anti-union campaign from Amazon, which included tactics such as pressuring employees to reject unionization and repeatedly calling the police on those informing workers of their rights. Despite these challenges, the alliance with the Teamsters signals a pivotal moment for Amazon employees nationwide, marking a new phase in their effort to improve working conditions.

The Teamsters Union has been ramping up their efforts to organize Amazon workers across the country. In 2021, they launched a dedicated Amazon division, and Sean O'Brien's election as Teamsters president included a commitment to focus on Amazon employees. O'Brien affirmed that the union would work tirelessly alongside ALU to secure better employment terms for Amazon workers through a formal contract.

Financial Support and Resource Allocation

Substantial financial backing has been pledged for this initiative. According to Smalls, the Teamsters have earmarked $8 million for organizing Amazon workers and are ready to use their $300 million strike and defense fund if necessary. Although the Teamsters have not specified the total budget for this campaign, the financial resources are expected to significantly aid ALU's efforts.

ALU members voted overwhelmingly, with 98.3% in favor, to affiliate with the Teamsters. The newly formed ALU-IBT Local 1 will represent around 5,500 workers at the JFK8 warehouse and have authority over Amazon warehouse workers in all five boroughs of New York City.

Members of ALU-IBT Local 1 will gain access to the Teamsters' extensive financial and organizational resources. Teamsters General President Sean M. O'Brien stressed that the union would hold Amazon to the same standards as those in their agreement protecting 340,000 UPS workers.

Amazon has declined to comment on the new affiliation. The collaboration between ALU and the Teamsters is a strategic step toward increasing leverage on Amazon and advancing unionization efforts across the country.

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.
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