Teamsters to vote on sweeping push to unionize Amazon workers


June 24, 2021: -One of the largest labor unions in the U.S. will vote on Thursday on a plan to sweep to organize Amazon warehouse workers and drivers.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters will gather this week for its annual convention and vote on a resolution that is aiming to make supporting Amazon workers and helps them to achieve a union contract a key priority.

As part of an initiative called “The Amazon Project,” the Teamsters are planning to create a special Amazon division within its ranks that will fund and assist the workers in organizing according to a copy of the resolution that Vice previously reported. The key is expected to pass.

Recently, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos acknowledged the company needs to do better by the employees.

The vote comes just after a failed effort to unionize one of the warehouses of Amazon in Alabama. In April, workers at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse voted against unionization, with less than 30% of the votes tallied in favor of joining the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union.

Amazon has long been a target of major labor unions, with the Teamsters, the United Food & Commercial Workers Union, and the RWDSU meeting with warehouse and delivery workers. The coronavirus pandemic, the explosion of Black Lived Matter protests last summer, and raise concerns around workplace safety fueled more interest in organizing Amazon warehouses.

Unionizing the workforce of Amazon would be an uphill battle. The company has managed to head off major labor unions since it had found in 1994. Labor unions have organized some of the European workforces of Amazon, but no U.S. facility has successfully formed or joined a league.

Amazon came under fire for its working conditions repeatedly, which include its injury rates and productivity requirements. The delivery drivers have also voiced concerns about the demands of the job.

“The International Brotherhood of Teamsters that recognized that there is no clearer example of how America detains the working class than Amazon,” according to the resolution obtained by CNBC.

“From its start as a book retailer, Amazon has increased to become an eCommerce giant and has disrupted industry after industry and displaced hundreds of thousands of jobs,” it added.

Since the vote of Bessemer, additional organizing efforts have sprung up across the country. Previously, the RWDSU has said over 1,000 workers contacted the union about managing their workplaces. Workers have also launched grassroots advocacy groups, like Amazonians United Chicagoland.

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