Warehouse workers and drivers from over 20 Amazon facilities across the country rallied against low pay and dangerous working conditions on Cyber Monday. From petitions and marches within facilities, to rallies and strikes outside, workers are demanding an end to Amazon’s exploitation that puts profits and packages ahead of their livelihoods.
Cyber Monday is the largest online shopping day of the year. Amazon’s profits are boosted, but employees pay the price, with exploding workloads and mandatory overtime, for the same low wages.
Warehouse workers at SWF1 in New York’s Hudson Valley held a rally and practice picket with community and labor supporters outside their warehouse. It is the first public action by SWF1United, following months of petitions and marches on the boss that have won incremental improvements.
“We are fed up with Amazon putting its packages ahead of our safety,” said Keith Williams, an Amazon warehouse worker at SWF1. “We are rallying and picketing today to show Amazon that we are the ones who make this company so valuable and we deserve respect.”
In Southern California, drivers from the company’s DAX8 warehouse in Palmdale — members of Teamsters Local 396 — extended their five-month strike to two warehouses: ONT1 in Mira Loma on the eve of Cyber Monday and DLX5 in Los Angeles today. They also extended their picket line to a third warehouse on Monday, RDU1 in Garner, N.C., where workers have been organizing with Carolina Amazonians United for Solidarity and Empowerment (CAUSE) for years.
“Amazon should put people over packages. This is a brutal time of year for Amazon workers. We are on an unfair labor practice strike to demand that Amazon deliver the fair pay and safe jobs that we deserve,” said Tom Culver, an Amazon driver and Teamsters Local 396 member from Palmdale.
Workers organizing with Amazonians United at South Jersey fulfillment center ACY1 walked out Monday afternoon in support of the collective demands of Amazon workers across the country.
At KSBD, Amazon’s airhub in the Inland Empire of California, warehouse workers organizing as Inland Empire Amazon Workers United are wearing stickers demanding a $25 starting wage.
At DDT6 in Pontiac, MI, workers are taking action to protect their safety. The warehouse workers are educating and organizing their coworkers to exercise their right to stop the conveyor belt when packages backup and create safety hazards. On Cyber Monday, they marched through the warehouse to make demands of management.
“Amazon claims it cares about our safety, but when the packages need to go out, our wellbeing is quickly forgotten,” said Alicia Ozier, a warehouse worker at DDT6 in Pontiac, MI. “I’ve been injured because of Amazon’s dangerous practices and many of my coworkers have too. We are stopping the line when the packages back up. We are demanding help with oversized packages. We are going to use our worker power to keep ourselves safe.”
At STL8, workers took action in solidarity with Amazon workers around the US who are calling for higher wages and safer work. In a show of unity, members of the STL8 organizing committee wore buttons inside the facility as peak season begins, bringing further attention to Amazon’s substandard wages and high injury rates. Over 50 workers participated in the action with support from Missouri Workers Center.
Warehouse workers at DGE9 in Buford, GA, who are organizing with Amazonians United, are delivering a petition to management demanding better working conditions and pay that reflects their work, building on past walkouts and marches on the boss.
Workers at DBK4 in Queens, NY, who are organizing with Amazonians United, gave a speech at the beginning of their shift on Saturday about rude and condescending managers and created “wanted posters” listing the managers’ abuses. They let coworkers know they do not need to be intimidated and they have the right to have a trusted coworker present if they are interrogated by managers.
Amazon Teamsters also traveled to the United Kingdom to join Amazon workers from around Europe for an international day of action on Black Friday and to support an ongoing strike and union organizing drive at Amazon’s Coventry warehouse.
“Amazon workers are taking action around the globe to fight for the good jobs we deserve,” said Jessie Moreno, Amazon Teamsters member from Local 396 who traveled to the United Kington to join striking Amazon workers there. “In the U.S., my Teamster siblings and I are on strike against Amazon’s unfair labor practices. We have taken our picket line across the country and now we’re joining our colleagues from around the world to demand respect, fair wages, and a workplace where our health and safety are a priority. Amazon is no match for the power of its workers united.”
Amazon workers can change this company and win good jobs by building power together. Contact a Teamster organizer by filling out the form here.