Calif. Workers Demand Amazon Remedy Unfair Labor Practices, Bargain Over Working Conditions
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(PALMDALE, Calif.) – Amazon delivery drivers and dispatchers went on strike today to demand the e-commerce giant stop its unfair labor practices. The strike will continue until Amazon remedies its unfair labor practices and recognizes and bargains with the Teamsters Union to address low pay and dangerous working conditions.
“We refuse to allow Amazon to profit off our labor without taking any responsibility for our safety or well-being,” said Jesus Gutierrez, an Amazon driver. “We went on an unfair labor practice strike last week and Amazon shut down the whole facility and continued to violate the law. Now we are ready to strike again and do everything the law allows to make Amazon stop its federal labor law violations and to get what our families deserve.”
The workers organized with Teamsters Local 396 at Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner (DSP), Battle-Tested Strategies (BTS), in April. Shortly thereafter, the workers negotiated and ratified a union contract with BTS, the first agreement covering workers in Amazon’s massive delivery network. Despite the absolute control it wields over BTS and workers’ terms and conditions of employment, Amazon has refused to recognize and honor the Teamster contract. Instead, Amazon has engaged in dozens of unfair labor practices in violation of federal labor law, including terminating the entire unit of newly organized workers.
“Teamsters have never been afraid to strike. This arrogant company is about to feel the full power of its workers fighting back,” said Randy Korgan, Teamsters Amazon Division Director. “Amazon will no longer get away with bullying workers. We are going to strike this company until they remedy their unfair labor practices and honor the union contract.”
“Our members are ready to put boots on the ground in support of their union brothers and sisters at Amazon,” said Victor Mineros, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 396. “Whether you have been a Teamster 20 years or two months, our 1.2-million-member organization will fight until you get what you deserve. We will hold Amazon accountable for its retaliation and threats.”
The Amazon drivers organized with the Teamsters to protect their safety in extreme temperatures, which regularly exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit during Palmdale summers.
The Teamster contract guarantees the rights of workers to drive safe equipment and refuse unsafe deliveries. Due to the total control that Amazon exerts over its DSPs, making the contract’s protections a reality will require an overhaul of Amazon’s exploitative labor practices, and will require that Amazon recognizes its duty under federal law to recognize and bargain with the Teamsters.
“I want Amazon to know that we will fight as long as it takes to stop these unfair labor practices,” said Darryll Phillips, an Amazon driver. “We are risking heat stress and dog bites every day delivering Amazon’s packages and exhaust ourselves trying to meet Amazon’s unsafe quotas. We negotiated a union contract to protect our safety. Amazon should respect that.”
“We are all living paycheck to paycheck. I’m constantly stressed about making rent, paying my bills, and affording food and clothing for my kids,” said Cecilia Porter, an Amazon driver. “We demand that Amazon recognize our union and honor our negotiated pay.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking people in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit Teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at Facebook.com/teamsters.