You Can’t Call
if you Ignore
By Stuart Appelbaum, President
Retail, Wholesale and Department
Store Union, UFCW
Amazon has been well documented as one of
the most anti-worker, anti-union companies
in the U.S. and around the world. Amazon is
a trillion-dollar company and is controlled by the
wealthiest man on the planet; yet it consistently
mistreats and dehumanizes its workers around the globe – the very women
and men who have made the company successful.
Amazon workers in Germany, Italy, and Spain have gone on strike, and
we’ve seen massive demonstrations by Amazon workers in Great Britain
over the way they are being mistreated. Amazon’s business model is based
on receiving taxpayer subsidies, paying little or no taxes, and mistreating
Amazon warehouse workers face outrageous work quotas and cruel
working conditions that have left many with illnesses and injuries.
Contracted workers, such as those making “last mile” deliveries, have
described inhumane working conditions and demands. These couriers say
they cannot take bathroom breaks and often feel compelled to drive
dangerously to satisfy the stringent demands of Amazon.
In the United Kingdom alone, there have been 600 ambulance calls to
the online retailer’s warehouses in the past three years, and, according to a
study by the GMB union, roughly 80 percent of workers experience pain on
Gov. Cuomo was absolutely right when he said recently at a rally about
Charter Communications: “What’s happening in this country is there’s more
and more corporate power and they’re trying to abuse workers. It’s
happening all across the board. It’s happening all across the nation. But
we’re saying it’s not going to happen in the state of New York.”
The importance of Amazon and what it means for the future world of work
transcends one company. These issues and more are examined and exposed
in a new report by the RWDSU called “What’s Wrong With Amazon?,” which
can be viewed online here: https://tinyurl.com/WhatsWrongWithAmazon.
The report details the extent of Amazon’s detrimental effects on workers and
communities, and shows why, in the words of Sharan Burrow, the newly reelected
head of the global labor movement, Amazon is the global labor
movement’s number one target.
Nobody can call themselves pro-worker or pro-union
if they exempt or ignore Amazon’s behavior. If Amazon
wants to be welcomed in New York, it needs to
change the way it treats working women and men
and their unions.
TIMESLEDGER,28 DEC. 28-JAN. 3, 2019 TIMESLEDGER.COM