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Boycott Amazon Campaign

Feb. 20 Solidarity Actions with Amazon Workers-Amazon Hires Union Buster

Local Los Angeles Action Friday Feb. 19, 12:30 pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/246035533749830

Union activists and community groups are holding a rally in front of the office of Morgan, Lewis and Bockius. This giant union-busting law firm was hired by Amazon to defy fair labor practices and intimidate and lie to 5,800 Amazon workers during their historic drive for a union. This workforce is 85% African American in a “right to work” state fighting against one of the richest corporations in the world. Please join us at this socially distanced, mask wearing rally! For more information call 323 306-6240

 Solidarity with Alabama Amazon Workers!

https://supportamazonworkers.org/

Actions are planned across the country for February 20 in response to a call from the Southern Workers Assembly for a National Day of Solidarity with Alabama Amazon workers fighting to form a union.

Bessemer, Alabama, sitting on the outskirts of Birmingham and with a population of 26,500 — about 75% African American — has become a central focus for the entire class struggle.

There, at Amazon warehouse BHM1, thousands of workers are fighting for a union. Over Amazon’s strident objections, the National Labor Relations Board is conducting a union representation election by mail.

Not only is this African American majority workforce up against the world’s richest human, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, they are facing off with the second-largest company in the U.S. — and the ninth largest in the world.

Support Amazon Workers is a campaign led by workers, labor and community activists who see mobilizing solidarity as a critical task to ensure their victory.

Lists of local actions

https://supportamazonworkers.org/feb20/

Amazon Hires Union-Buster

https://theintercept.com/2021/02/10/amazon-alabama-union-busting-koch/

Excerpt:

AMAZON IS BRINGING on a set of well-trained union suppression consultants in its high-profile fight to keep its massive warehouse workforce free of organized labor.

The Seattle-based conglomerate recently retained a consultant named Russell Brown to help thwart the union election that began recently at its fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama, new disclosures show.

Brown was brought on by Amazon on January 25 for a contract to help persuade Amazon’s Alabama employees not to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, or RWDSU, a union that is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers, also known as the UFCW. He is paid $3,200 per day, plus expenses, for the work.

Brown is the head of RWP Labor, which touts itself as a specialty firm that assists companies in “maintaining a union free workplace.” The company features a team of consultants that includes a former International Brotherhood of Teamsters trainer who now assists corporations with defeating union campaigns. The firm brags that it has won many previous anti-union drives and specializes in training company leaders, persuading employees, and developing corporate social responsibility plans devised to prevent union interference.

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Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions

Amazon Forces Workers into “Megacycle” Shifts

https://www.vice.com/en/article/y3gk3w/amazon-is-forcing-its-warehouse-workers-into-brutal-megacycle-shifts

Excerpt:

On January 25, hundreds of workers at an Amazon warehouse in Chicago were presented with a baffling choice: sign up for a ten-and-a-half-hour graveyard shift, or lose your job.

Management informed workers that their warehouse, known as DCH1, would be shut down, and they were being offered a shift that runs from 1:20am to 11:50am, which is known as “megacycle,” at a new Chicago warehouse.

DCH1 has been the target of protests, walkouts, and petitions organized by workers that have changed Amazon’s nationwide policies for its warehouses. Its closure will force workers to choose between their lives outside of Amazon and keeping their jobs in the middle of a pandemic.

 

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Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign

Church of Stop Shopping vs. Amazon

https://megaphone.link/PAN7194873857

Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping call out Jeff Bezos, acolyte of the great god Mammon (AKA money) in a protest outside Bezos’s NY home (on YouTube) and in a podcast about Bezos and Amazon’s crimes against the Earth (and its own workers).

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Boycott Amazon Campaign

Black Lives Matter LA Boycotts Amazon

On Saturday, December 19, Black Lives Matter L.A. held its final protest of the year. Their recent victories include driving D.A. Jackie Lacey from office for her adamant refusal to prosecute killer cops, and blocking LA Mayor Eric Garcetti from a position in Joe Biden’s cabinet because of his horrible record on dealing with LA’s houseless population, which is disproportionately Black, his terrible record on promoting gentrification and displacement, and his appointment of the rubber stamp Police Commission that functions as an apologist for one of the most murderous PDs in the country.

But BLM-LA and their allies were not just celebrating their victories — they were stepping up their critique of and opposition to “violent white capitalism” in their annual “Black Xmas” protest.

A couple of hundred people gathered at Yvonne Burke Park in Marina del Rey, a tony beach-front community of high-priced developments and hotels built on what were once unique brackish wet-lands, emphasizing their demand for more affordable housing in Los Angeles. They announced their intention to march to an Amazon location in the neighborhood to protest Amazon’s grotesque profit-taking during the pandemic, while the corporation condemned thousands of its workers to contracting COVID-19 or needing to supplement their incomes with food stamps, as well as working under onerous sweat-shop type speed-up conditions.

BDS-LA photos by Michael Novick

After traditional BLM LA rituals, including pouring libations to and saying the names of those killed by police, as well as of Black and African freedom fighters who have passed to the ancestors, the crowd of about 200 Black people and some white and other allies marched out of the park, along Admiralty Way and over to the site of Amazon Books, a brick-and-mortar Amazon store open to promote Christmas shopping. They were trailed by police, who also blocked the entrance to Fiji Way at Lincoln Blvd. where the Amazon store is located, from the opposite side from where the marchers were approaching. People gathered in the parking lot outside Amazon Books, facing a  flatbed truck with speakers, flags and sound equipment that had led the marchers over. Speakers denounced Amazon, and particularly “centibillionaire” owner Jeff Bezos. A member of the BLM-LA Youth Vanguard led the crowd in chants of “Power to the People.”

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Boycott Amazon Campaign

Amazon takes Pentagon to Court over JEDI Contract to Microsoft

JEDI is not Luke Skywalker or Obiwan Kenobi. It’s the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract, worth up to a billion dollars a year for at least the next decade.

Sadly for Amazon, the Pentagon, home of the massive and misnamed US Department of “Defense” (DoD) awarded it to Microsoft in October 2019, and again — after Amazon’s complaints forced a do-over — in September 2020.

But Amazon is back in court, a little like Donald Trump or any movie super-villain that keeps coming back even after you think he’s dead for sure this time. 

https://www.nextgov.com/it-modernization/2020/12/amazon-pentagon-renew-jedi-legal-arguments/170830/

Excerpts:

The contract, which would put a commercial company in charge of global war cloud and swaths of secret and top secret data, could be worth up to $10 billion over the next decade. However, it was conceived nearly four years ago and has yet to get off the ground, having faced four separate legal challenges by various companies competing for it. JEDI remains under a court-ordered injunction.

On Wednesday, the court unsealed separate responses to AWS’ complaint filed by attorneys for the Defense Department and Microsoft. Attorneys for the Defense Department called AWS’ protest a “prohibited strategic gambit,” suggesting that AWS used the president’s public statements and tweets of dislike toward Amazon and founder Jeff Bezos as a means to cry bias if they lost JEDI.

In a statement responding to AWS’ complaint, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of communications, Frank Shaw, said, “Amazon seems to be saying the only way they can ever lose is if the procurement isn’t fair.” Shaw added, “But every month, the market tells them that’s not true. Large and sophisticated customers regularly choose Microsoft over AWS. They do this because of the strength of our technology, our understanding of complex projects, and our overall value.”

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Boycott Amazon Campaign

Bezos Using Opportunity Zone Tax Breaks for Space Race with Musk

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-12-09/elon-musk-jeff-bezos-use-opportunity-zone-tax-breaks-for-private-space-race

Excerpt:

The world’s two richest men, who committed billions of dollars of their own money to a private space race, are now eligible for an extra boost from the federal government: a tax break intended to help poor communities.

Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk had competed for nearly a decade to develop engines and rockets through their privately owned space companies when the perk came their way in 2018. Their companies’ sites were included among the thousands of tracts across the U.S. designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones, part of President Donald Trump’s plan to use tax breaks to attract investments and jobs to distressed neighborhoods.

At the time, Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. was building a launch operation along the Texas-Mexico border. Bezos’s Blue Origin had struck a deal to build a $200 million rocket engine plant in an Alabama research park. The companies had already committed to job creation and secured local tax breaks.

The billionaires’ qualification for the federal benefit, which hasn’t been previously reported, enables them to avoid capital gains taxes on money they steer into opportunity zone operations. Those investments can then grow tax-free, and if the billionaires keep their investments in place for a decade, any appreciation can be shielded from federal capital gains taxes forever.

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Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions

#BlackOutBezos

Today is Black Friday, the second busiest shopping day of the entire year.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is hoping to make billions of dollars between today and Cyber Monday, off of the work of thousands of warehouse employees across the country.

Warehouse workers at Amazon are twice as likely to be injured on the job than those in similar jobs.(1) Coronavirus cases are spiking but Amazon has ended its hazard pay and still does not have significant paid sick leave.(2) And while Bezos has made $70 billion since the start of the pandemic, warehouse employees in California aren’t being paid wages competitive to where they live.(3)

We’re encouraging everyone to shop local this Black Friday and Cyber Monday in order to support local businesses and send a strong message to Bezos that we won’t support his exploitation of warehouse workers.

Will you change your profile picture to our #BlackOutBezos image from today through Cyber Monday and help convince others to shop local?

Here are instructions for how to change your profile picture for various social medias:

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Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions

Amazon Workers in Alabama Petition for Union

https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/story/2020-11-24/amazon-warehouse-workers-in-alabama-petition-to-form-a-union

EXCERPT FROM BLOOMBERG:

Amazon.com Inc. warehouse workers in Alabama filed a petition with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board to form a union, the latest sign of strife between the online retailer and its large blue-collar workforce.

The federal agency posted a notice dated Friday for a hearing to determine whether the petition meets the criteria to advance to the next step. With enough support, it’ll proceed to a vote among those working at the warehouse outside Birmingham on whether to unionize and be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The recently opened facility in Bessemer employs about 1,500 people.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the plight of so-called essential workers, including those in Amazon’s logistics and delivery operations, whose labor helped many people reduce their exposure by having goods delivered to their homes.

Some Amazon warehouse workers in Europe are union members, but most of the company’s U.S. workforce isn’t unionized. Chief Executive Jeff Bezos has a net worth of $181.9 billion, while many of Amazon’s workers earn so little that they receive government subsidies for food and healthcare.

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Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign

Amazon Refuses to Sell Book on COVID-Capitalism Connection

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Boycott Amazon Campaign Surveillance Capitalism

Ring Doorbells Subject to Recall Over Fire Hazard

In addition to dangers to privacy and  being a step towards a “total surveillance society” hooked into law enforcement, Amazon’s Ring doorbells have been the subject of a recall by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission over a threat of causing fires. Some 350,000 units in the U.S. and 8,700 in Canada are being recalled over fire and burn concerns. The devices were on sale through Amazon’s sites and retail locations.

https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2020/ring-recalls-video-doorbells-2nd-generation-due-to-fire-hazard

According to the CPSC, “This recall involves Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation), model number 5UM5E5 smart doorbell cameras.  The video doorbells have a blue ring at the front and come in two color combinations:  (black and silver) and (black and bronze).  They were sold with a mounting bracket and a USB charging cable.  The two-way audio doorbell can be hardwired or battery-powered and supports night vision[Emphasis added.]

“The Ring logo is printed on the bottom front of the doorbell and the model and serial number are on a label on the back of the doorbell and the outer packaging.  Consumers can determine if their doorbell is included in this recall by entering the doorbell’s serial number at http://support.ring.com/ring-2nd-gen-recall. Only Ring Video Doorbell (2nd Generation) models with certain serial numbers are included.”

The recall, joined in by Canada, notes that the doorbells are imported by Ring LLC of Santa Monica, CA from China. Perhaps we should consider Ring of Santa Monica as a site for a protest of Amazon’s surveillance activities and other involvements.

The CSPC advises that: “Consumers should immediately stop installing the recalled video doorbells and contact Ring for revised installation instructions or download them here.  Consumers can check if their video doorbell is part of this recall through Ring’s website or app.”
There have been a number of reported incidents or injuries:

The CSPC says that Ring has received 85 incident reports of incorrect doorbell screws installed with 23 of those doorbells igniting, resulting in minor property damage.  The firm has received eight reports of minor burns.