Amazon won the majority of ballots cast in the union election by the company’s warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama. There’s no way around it: the result is a major setback in the fight to organize one of the most powerful corporations on the planet.
Alex N. Press is a staff writer at Jacobin. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Vox, the Nation, and n+1, among other places.
Facing down anti-union threats from an increasingly brazen management, educators at more than a dozen Pittsburgh-area charter schools are voting on unionization. For teachers already burdened by impossible workloads, the charters’ handling of the COVID-19 crisis prompted them to act.
After a stint in the army and a spell as a heroin addict, Nico Walker became a bank robber — a move that landed him in prison for almost a decade. That’s when he wrote Cherry, his first novel and now a motion picture starring Tom Holland. Jacobin spoke with Walker about the Iraq War, socialism in Bolivia, and why robbing a bank is easier than it looks.
A recent survey of restaurant workers confirms what insiders know: that the industry has the highest rate of sexual harassment, and a reliance on tips exacerbates the problem. Eliminating the tipped wage would go a long way to fixing the problem.
Andrew Cuomo Is Still Blocking Hundreds of Thousands of New York Workers From Receiving COVID-19 Relief
Even as New York bore the brunt of the pandemic in its early days, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers were excluded from state COVID-19 relief programs because of their immigration status or incarceration. Now a coalition of organizations is demanding a $3.5 billion fund to help the excluded — but New York’s scandal-plagued governor, Andrew Cuomo, stands in their way.
With Bernie Sanders on his way to Bessemer, Alabama to support warehouse workers voting on a union, and the company facing increasingly negative press over working conditions that include drivers being forced to urinate in bottles, Amazon’s PR operation is getting defensive.
Workers at San Francisco’s Dandelion Chocolate are unionizing with the ILWU, the longshore workers’ union with a long history of militant action and radical politics. We spoke with them about life and work at the chocolate factory.
This week, AFA-CWA president Sara Nelson traveled to Bessemer, Alabama, where Amazon workers are now voting on unionization. We spoke to Nelson about the union drive, Amazon’s tone-deafness, and how her members are doing one year into the pandemic.
At a Senate Budget Committee hearing yesterday, with Bernie Sanders presiding, economists, labor experts, and the day’s star witness — Jennifer Bates, an Amazon warehouse worker in Bessemer, Alabama — exposed the grim workings of an economy that continues to funnel wealth and power to a tiny capitalist elite.
Rideshare drivers across California rallied in support of the PRO Act, a major labor law reform bill that could transform working conditions for gig workers. We spoke with one of the organizers about how Proposition 22 misled drivers, why gig workers need collective-bargaining rights, and the difficulties of organizing these workers.
We spoke with Fight for $15 activist Terrence Wise, who recently testified before the Senate Budget Committee, about life on low wages, the rhythms of collective protest, and why the Biden administration will pay a price if it abandons its pledge to support the movement’s central demand of a $15 minimum wage.
Ballots are due by March 29 in the first warehouse-wide union drive at a US Amazon facility. The Alabama workers are up against an avalanche of anti-union propaganda, but if they win a union, it would mark a historic incursion by labor into the heart of a formidable anti-union employer.
New research shows why inequality is even worse than it looks on paper. Thanks to weak leverage, the same workers who earn the lowest wages also suffer the worst violations of labor rights at the hands of employers.
Joe Biden may have thrown in the towel on a $15 minimum wage, but Bernie Sanders has not. His recent Senate Budget Committee hearing on the country’s biggest retailers’ low wages was classic Sanders: a hard-nosed, commonsense message of class struggle.
Working in a warehouse during a pandemic means taking your life in your hands — and doing it for poverty wages. An activist with Warehouse Workers for Justice in Illinois tells Jacobin the story of how he finally got fed up, how he and other workers are fighting back, and what would happen if every warehouse worker in the country took the day off.
Few industries in the United States expose workers to COVID-19 at higher rates than the meatpacking and food processing sector. We spoke with a worker at a Tyson poultry plant in Arkansas about his fear of getting sick, what Tyson thinks of its workers, and how long it’s been since he received any hazard pay.
Unions are pushing Congress to pass the most comprehensive labor law reform bill in decades, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. What exactly would it do? We spoke to a labor lawyer about how the act would help workers organize unions — and strengthen the power of those unions once they’re organized.
It’s Looking Like the Department of Justice Under Biden Will Have Major Influence from Corporate Law
Jamie Gorelick, a high-powered lawyer who defended the city of Chicago after the police murder of Laquan McDonald and sits on the board of Amazon, is a case study of the influence big corporate law firms wield behind the scenes in Washington — and she has friends like Merrick Garland in high places in the Biden administration.
The union organizing campaign currently underway at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama could prove to be the most important labor fight in the South since the failure of Operation Dixie, the movement’s last large-scale push to organize the South in the late 1940s. The story of that historic effort holds lessons for the struggle today.
At Collin College, an institution of higher learning in McKinney, Texas where two professors involved in union organizing were recently fired, the president proudly boasts of the school’s “Amazonification.” The episode offers a dire picture of the direction higher ed is rapidly heading nationwide.