On Tuesday, June 22, in a three-day “virtual convention” the Teamsters united to discuss the unions main objectives for the next 5 years. Now the 500 locals of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have vowed to include in that plan the unionization of the workers at Amazon all across the U.S.
“Be it resolved, that building worker power at Amazon and helping those workers achieve a union contract is a top priority for the Teamsters Union,” the resolution document says.
Guests speakers were to include President Biden and former President Bill Clinton; Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; and other international and U.S. labor leaders.
Why Target Amazon?
With some 1.4 million workers represented by the union, from trucking, warehousing and logistics industries distributing goods, Amazon has been in the Teamsters sights for a while. You may have heard that an Amazon facility in Bessemer, AL recently voted down efforts to unionize. But this is the Teamsters, and their national director for Amazon, Randy Korgan, in a recently published op-ed called the company “Enemy Number 1”, and added the thought that Amazon workers know they are the source of Jeff Bezos’ billions.
“This will take hard, but necessary work. As a union, we deeply understand and are constantly educating each other about the threat posed by Amazon… our union needs to be dedicated to this project for the long haul if we want to keep middle-class jobs in our core industries.”Teamsters National Director for Amazon, Randy Korgan
Amazon workers in Bessemer, AL, voted more than two-to-one against joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.
RWDSU Local – 1576 Springfield Ave, Maplewood, NJ
The Teamsters Are Serious
In a resolution the Teamsters Union called for “shop floor strikes, city-wide strikes and actions in the streets”, and they created a special “Amazon Division” to get the job done. Teamsters general president James P. Hoffa called Amazon “an existential threat to every Teamster out there.”
Amazon now has well over a million employees worldwide, with over 800,000 of them in the United States. Currently listed as the world’s fifth largest employer in the Fortune 500 the company is quickly moving up in that list by adding thousands of new workers every year. No wonder Amazon is in the sights of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.