Economic Liberties Applauds Teamsters Vote To Boost Union Organizing At Amazon Sites

June 24, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Economic Liberties Project on Thursday applauded the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ vote to prioritize organizing drives at Amazon facilities in the coming years.

“Amazon workers deserve a union, but Jeff Bezos has made it clear he will stop at nothing to preserve his abusive, dangerous, and degrading labor policies,” said Economic Liberties’ Director of Policy & Advocacy Morgan Harper. “The organizing resources and acumen of the Teamsters are essential if workers are going to win against this unaccountable tech giant and the dirty tricks we saw it use against a recent union drive in Alabama.”

Amazon took several extraordinary steps against a union drive in Alabama this spring. Local bosses reportedly interrogated workers about the union, used the company phone directory to blast anti-union text messages, and stepped up on-site surveillance. Government relations staff pressured the U.S. Postal Service to erect a special drop-box outside the facility, after federal labor regulators found that such a company-branded ballot box would warp the vote.

“Amazon tries to present a rosy picture, but we know they run an operation that injures workers twice as often as the industry average, prevents workers from taking bathroom breaks, and reacts to a deadly pandemic by cutting hazard pay,” Harper added. “The tremendous power monopolies like Amazon have to manipulate and harm our national interest hurts workers in addition to small businesses and consumer markets.”

“Exploiting workers is key to Amazon’s toxic business model. The people fighting hard to organize these shops deserve enormous credit – but they also deserve a government that will do its part to help vindicate their right to a safe and dignified workplace. Washington’s failure to act while Amazon built its monopoly through predatory tactics built a sprawling monopoly is what allowed it to concentrate such extreme amounts of power. It is high time for lawmakers to step up and take on Amazon’s power with all the tools at their disposal – including by breaking up these monopolies.”

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The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.