There is potentially worrying news for Amazon today as The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has launched a brand new Amazon division which could bring an Amazon strike in the future.
While there have been talks of localized unionization attempts in certain Amazon warehouses across the nation, they are still very much in the minority with Amazon allegedly doing a good job in dissuading its employees from seeking unionization.
This has brought the attention of the Teamsters who know a thing or two about bringing people together in a bid for fairer working conditions. As it stands, the Teamsters provide a home to over 1.2 million workers, including 340,000 UPS workers, many of which carry out similar roles to the majority of Amazon’s workforce.
Is An Amazon Strike Likely?
Just a few weeks ago we covered the news how the Teamsters had started their campaigning for the UPS contract renewal in which they were very forthcoming in their mobilization to strike if their needs were not met by the logistics giant.
While any Amazon strike action would be a long way down the line as creating an official union for Amazon will take time, the fact it is on the Teamster’s radar it can’t be something that would ever be ruled out further down the road. Much like with UPS, an Amazon strike would impact millions of people across the country.
You can see the full announcement from the Teamsters below:
Teamsters Amazon Division Announcement
The Teamsters Union on Tuesday formally launched its Amazon Division, a new arm of North America’s strongest union dedicated to uniting Amazon employees, securing more workplace protections in the warehouse and logistics industry, and defending workers from the unchecked exploitation of one of the world’s most dangerous employers.
Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien announced Randy Korgan as director of the new Amazon Division. As Secretary-Treasurer and Principal Officer of Teamsters Local 1932, Korgan brings three decades of industry expertise and organizing leadership to the national program, which immediately establishes a sophisticated Teamster infrastructure of union officers, seasoned organizers, and volunteer coordinators across the U.S. and Canada.
The Teamsters Union is home to 1.2 million workers, including 340,000 UPS employees, most of whom perform the same roles as Amazon workers. The wages, benefits, and retirement security of UPS Teamsters are protected by the union’s national master agreement, the single largest union contract in the world.
“For 120 years, the Teamsters have proudly and ferociously protected transportation, logistics, and delivery workers, and we refuse to allow Amazon to continue to abuse and disrespect the more than one million Americans it employs,” O’Brien said.
“The Teamsters are best positioned to coordinate and secure guaranteed protections for these workers, and Amazon knows it. Our new division affords a nationwide network of resources to all Amazon workers, behind the wheel of any truck or hard at work in any facility, to strategize with the union, mobilize in their communities, and succeed together.”
As workers around the country continue to rise up and collectively demand better workplace standards, communities are increasingly rejecting Amazon’s lack of accountability and its overwhelming worker injury rate. In coordination with the Teamsters, passionate community partners have succeeded in limiting Amazon’s expansion on both coasts, as the corporate giant’s growth threatens good-paying jobs and environmental protections.
Amazon employs one-third of the warehouse workers in the U.S. but is responsible for half of all workplace injuries in the sector as its employees sustain serious injuries at five times the national average. Injury rates at Amazon facilities are nearly 80 percent higher than all other employers in the warehousing industry.
“For Teamsters, and the labor movement as a whole, Amazon poses an existential threat to the rights and standards that our members have fought for and won for over 100 years,” Korgan said. “The new Amazon Division is ready to create and support direct action by workers across the country to beat back this corporate threat to working people.”
In addition to his longstanding partnership with community organizers and Teamster affiliates nationwide, Korgan offers exclusive insight into Amazon’s national expansion efforts. Local 1932 represents 14,000 Teamsters across Southern California and in San Bernardino, Amazon’s most consequential logistics hub in North America.
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