The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents more than one million workers across North America in industries such as parcel delivery and freight, will vote on whether to prioritize Amazon workers and prioritize them. help get a union contract.
“Amazon is changing the nature of work in our country and affecting many core Teamster industries and employers,” reads the resolution, which will be voted on at the Teamsters convention on Thursday. The business “poses an existential threat to the standards we have set in these industries,” he says.
The resolution says the union “will provide all necessary resources” and eventually create an Amazon division to help organize workers at the company.
It does not specify the timeline for such a split or how much money or manpower the union will devote to the effort, and a union spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on these. details. Last year, the union achieved sales of more than $ 200 million, according to documents from the Ministry of Labor.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
In one opinion column This month for Salon, Randy Korgan, a Southern California Teamsters official who has served as Amazon’s national director since the job was created last year, wrote that the union would bypass traditional workplace elections organized by the National Labor Relations Board.
Instead, Mr Korgan wrote, the union will focus on supporting Amazon workers and other warehouse and delivery workers and community members, and it aims to bring the company to the table. negotiation by orchestrating strikes, boycotts, demonstrations and other actions. .
Amazon beat a conventional campaign run by a union of retail workers at a Bessemer, Alabama warehouse this year, after which a number of union leaders suggested that a shift towards the strategies outlined by Mr. Korgan might be more fruitful. These union leaders pointed out that federal labor law gives employers great advantages during election campaigns – allowing companies to organize compulsory anti-union meetings, for example – and that the government cannot impose fines on employers who violate the law. (The traders’ union disputes election results at the Bessemer warehouse, accusing Amazon of intimidating workers.)
However, support for this approach is far from unanimous within the trade union movement.
In one interview after the election in AlabamaStuart Appelbaum, the leader of the retail workers union who oversaw the campaign, said seeking to win the union election in Amazon warehouses should remain a priority. “If you want to create real power, you have to do it with a majority of workers,” Appelbaum said at the time.
The Teamsters Union holds its convention every five years and uses it to set priorities for the union to pursue until the next convention. The resolution says momentum for the Amazon campaign has been building since the union’s last agreement in 2016.
During this time, he says, various departments at Teamster “have been following Amazon’s growth, presence and impact on Teamster industries and have spoken with thousands of workers to develop different operational theories on how best to operate. engage and support Amazon workers ”.