(WASHINGTON) – On Thursday, delegates of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters voted overwhelmingly to formalize a resolution to address Amazon’s exploitation of its employees, contractors and employees of contractors by committing all levels of the union to unite with core platforms of member engagement, worker and community engagement, antitrust enforcement and policy reform, and global solidarity. The resolution states that the union will fully fund and support the Amazon Project and supply all resources necessary. It also calls for ultimately creating a special Amazon Division to aid Amazon workers and defend and protect the standards in Teamster-represented industries from the existential threat that is Amazon.
“Amazon presents a massive threat to working-class communities and good jobs in the logistics industry,” said Randy Korgan, Teamsters National Director for Amazon. “Amazon workers face dehumanizing, unsafe and low-pay jobs, with high turnover and no voice at work. The Teamsters have fought hard to create and protect worker standards in the warehouse and delivery industries for more than 100 years while helping build worker power before meaningful labor laws were in place. Amazon workers are calling for safer and better working conditions and with today’s resolution we are activating the full force of our union to support them.”
“In my more than two decades of service as Teamsters General President, I’ve yet to see a threat quite like the one Amazon presents to hardworking people, small businesses, the logistics industry and our nation’s middle class,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “Our 1.4 million Teamster members, their families and communities stand together in solidarity with Amazon workers, and we commit our union’s full support as they build worker power for a better future. I’m proud that all levels of our union have united behind these efforts and proud that this work will continue and expand under the next generation of Teamster leadership.”
Recent reports from the Strategic Organizing Center and The Washington Posthighlighted serious safety concerns Amazon’s workers face that require urgent action. According to the studies, the serious injury rate of Amazon warehouse employees is nearly two times the rest of the industry. The Strategic Organizing Center’s report also presented the dangerous conditions experienced by the Amazon Delivery Service Partners (DSPs) drivers. According to the report, the severe, lost-time injury rate for delivery drivers in 2020 was 7.9 per 100 workers.
Teamster members are also getting involved as Amazon’s meteoric rise poses a severe threat to their communities, the industries they work in and the livelihoods of their friends, family and neighbors who work for Amazon.
“The Teamsters have helped me provide for my family, and I hope that Amazon workers are one day able to share the same benefits that we have as union members,” said Robert Martinez, a 22-year Teamsters Local 63 member at UPS. “Amazon is a massive company, and it’s going to take all of us as Teamsters to talk to Amazon workers and let them know that working in the logistics industry does not mean low wages, devastating injuries and inexcusable mistreatment from your employer. That’s why I’m getting involved, and I look forward to us joining together as a union to support Amazon workers so they can have what we have, and we can protect the standards we have built in the logistics industry.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.