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Could We See A Widespread Amazon Strike in the Future as Teamsters Launch Amazon Division?

by Lottar

There is potentially troubling news for Amazon today, as The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has launched a brand new Amazon division that could bring an Amazon strike in the future.

While there has been talk of localized unionization efforts in certain Amazon warehouses around the country, they are still outnumbered with Amazon reportedly doing a good job of discouraging its employees from seeking unionization.

This brought the attention of the Teamsters who know a thing or two about bringing people together in an effort for fairer working conditions. As it stands, the Teamsters are home to more than 1.2 million workers, including 340,000 UPS workers, many of whom fill similar roles to the majority of Amazon’s workforce.

Is an Amazon strike likely?

Just a few weeks ago, we covered the news how the Teamsters began their campaigns for the UPS contract renewal in which they were very bold in their mobilization to strike if their needs were not met by the logistics giant.

While any Amazon strike will be a long way off, as creating an official union for Amazon will take time, being on the Teamster’s radar may not be something that will ever be ruled out down the road does not become Just like with UPS, an Amazon strike would affect millions of people across the country.

You can see the full announcement from the Teamsters below:

Teamsters Amazon Division Announcement

The Teamsters union on Tuesday formally launched its Amazon division, a new arm of North America’s strongest union dedicated to uniting Amazon employees, securing more workplace protections in the warehousing and logistics industry, and defending workers against the unchecked exploitation of one of the world’s most dangerous employers.

Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien announced Randy Korgan as director of the new Amazon division. As secretary-treasurer and chief officer of Teamsters Local 1932, Korgan brings three decades of industry expertise and organizing leadership to the national program, immediately establishing a sophisticated Teamster infrastructure of union officials, seasoned organizers and volunteer coordinators across the US and Canada .

The Teamsters Union is home to 1.2 million workers, including 340,000 UPS employees, most of whom perform the same roles as Amazon workers. The wages, benefits and retirement security of UPS Teamsters are protected by the union’s national master agreement, the single largest union contract in the world.

“For 120 years, the Teamsters have proudly and fiercely protected transportation, logistics and delivery workers, and we refuse to allow Amazon to continue to abuse and disrespect the more than one million Americans they employ .” O’Brien said.

“The Teamsters are best positioned to coordinate and secure guaranteed protections for these workers, and Amazon knows it. Our new division provides a nationwide network of resources for all Amazon workers, behind the wheel of any truck or hard at work in any facility, to strategize with the union, mobilize in their communities and succeed together .”

As workers across the country continue to rise up and collectively demand better workplace standards, communities are increasingly rejecting Amazon’s lack of accountability and its overwhelming worker injury rate. In coordination with the Teamsters, passionate community partners have succeeded in limiting Amazon’s expansion on both coasts as the corporate giant’s growth threatens good-paying jobs and environmental protections.

Amazon employs one-third of warehouse workers in the US, but accounts for half of all workplace injuries in the sector as its employees sustain serious injuries at five times the national average. Injury rates at Amazon facilities are nearly 80 percent higher than all other employers in the warehousing industry.

“For Teamsters, and the labor movement as a whole, Amazon poses an existential threat to the rights and standards our members have fought for and won for more than 100 years,” Corgan said. “The new Amazon division is ready to create and support direct action by workers across the country to beat back this corporate threat to working people.”

In addition to his longstanding partnership with community organizers and Teamster affiliates nationwide, Korgan offers exclusive insight into Amazon’s national expansion efforts. Local 1932 represents 14,000 team members across Southern California and in San Bernardino, Amazon’s most consequential logistics hub in North America.

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