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Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions

How Amazon Exploited a Weakened America

https://blackagendareport.com/how-amazon-exploited-weakened-america

Excerpt:

Amazon will not stop squeezing every drop from workers until those workers have more power.

“The book is less an examination of the company than an examination of America through its lens.”

Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America
Alec MacGillis
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9780374159276

During the Covid-19 pandemic, one in four Americans has struggled to pay their bills, and as of mid-January, unemployment claims surpassed those of the Great Recession for the forty-third straight week. As of February, more than 24 million people reported that their households sometimes didn’t have enough to eat. Many lower-income Americans continued to report for in-person jobs without proper protective equipment in dangerously crowded environments like meatpacking plants, warehouses, and hospitals.

For those who could work from home, it became “our patriotic duty” to buy online, wrote ProPublica reporter Alec MacGillis in a November New York Times op-ed. Flattening the curve put the nail in the coffin of in-person retail, which had already endured record closures in 2019. Amazon, meanwhile, hired 250,000 people, taking the total to over a million employees globally. Most of those jobs sucked: They were largely in warehouse and delivery, which have become notoriously brutal jobs at Amazon both physically and mentally (but we’ll get to that). Nine months into 2020, and six months into the pandemic, Amazon had already surpassed its 2019 earnings.

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Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions

Bezos’ s Wasteful Space Race Proves: Tax Amazon on Earth

Last week, we saw billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos engage in a massively wasteful ‘space race’ while the entire Western United States suffered from a record-breaking heat wave. Then, after landing, Jeff Bezos had the audacity to thank Amazon workers for paying for his public mid-life crisis.

Back on Earth, the rest of us are paying for billionaire greed too as record temperatures threaten human life and infrastructure in a climate crisis driven by the top 100 companies in the world. Renters have nowhere to go as the eviction moratorium is about to end, and the median price of a house in California has risen by $300,000.

Lack of housing, climate destruction, and poor working conditions all have the same cause: the hoarding and exploitation committed by the billionaire class.

To fight against Bezos, Amazon, and Big Business, we’ll need a mass movement committed to fighting first-hand for what we need. Will you commit to joining our volunteer campaign to tax Amazon in Burbank?

Take a stand!

Raise $100 million from tax on companies with the largest square footageBefore they do that, we need to show public support for the terms as passed by the Action Conference:The TAB campaign has officially sent our resolutions from the last Action Conference to the Burbank City Council. Once they add it to the agenda, they’ll debate on whether or not to craft a law that meets our terms. The council will likely attempt to water down the resolutions in an attempt to cater to Big Business in Burbank!

Fund rent and utilities relief due to COVID

Build social housing by union labor with living wages

Fund public schools

Fund a Green New Deal in Burbank

And more!

When the council schedules the discussion of the Burbank Amazon Tax, we need Burbankers to show up online to speak up in support! Are you willing to show City Council that Burbank needs a strong tax on Amazon and Big Business?

Stay tuned, and add “Tax Amazon Burbank” to your address book so you won’t miss any updates. We’re heading into a crucial part of the campaign, and it’s going to take all of us to beat Bezos.

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Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign

Amazon Proposes South African HQ on Sacred Land

Denounce Amazon’s plan to build a South African HQ on sacred indigenous land!

Petition to Congress:
We demand you publicly denounce Amazon for trying to build its South African HQ on sacred indigenous land — and take steps to reduce the company’s immense power.

Amazon wants to build a new HQ in South Africa by bulldozing over sacred indigenous land.1 And just like when Amazon tried to build a new HQ in New York City, local activists in Cape Town are pushing back.

Amazon didn’t choose a sacred indigenous site by accident. They know it has historical, cultural and environmental significance.2 They just want to destroy and build on it anyway.

But since Amazon is a US company, they’re particularly vulnerable to grassroots pressure here in the US. You can show your solidarity with indigenous activists in South Africa by calling on your member of Congress to denounce this new Amazon headquarters.

Sign the petition: Tell Congress to denounce Amazon’s plan to build a HQ on sacred indigenous land in South Africa!

The indigenous land sits on the banks of the Liesbeek River where in the year 1510 Khoi and San peoples successfully fought back Portuguese colonizers. The area is still a source of pride and cultural heritage for the Khoi, which also survived decades of oppression under Apartheid. But now Amazon wants to bulldoze it and build a sprawling campus.

Over 50,000 residents in Cape Town signed a petition opposing the construction, but Amazon is pushing ahead anyway. That’s why folks on the ground there are asking for your help!

From AfricaNews AFP report:

Last month, the port city approved the construction of a nine-storey commercial and residential complex on a riverside green space, which will be anchored by the US online retail giant’s 70,000 square metre offices. But some descendants of the region’s original inhabitants, the Khoi and San peoples, accuse the project of desecrating their ancestral lands and plead the cultural and environmental significance of the site.

“Our heritage will be completely destroyed,” Aran Goringhaicona told AFP. “This place has a great spiritual significance for us,” added the traditional leader who heads a collective opposed to the project. Together with a group of local residents, the Observatory Civic Association (OCA), they wrote to the developer, Liesbeek Leisure Properties Trust (LLPT), this week to warn it of their intention to challenge the project in court.

If US elected officials publicly denounce this HQ project, Amazon will face an international political and PR nightmare. Activists here in the US successfully blocked an Amazon HQ in New York City. Together you can show solidarity with indigenous activists and help block this new Amazon HQ in South Africa.

Sign the petition: Tell Congress to denounce Amazon’s plan to build a HQ on sacred indigenous land in South Africa!

Sources:
1. Reuters, “Heritage dispute engulfs site chosen for Amazon’s new African HQ,” June 3, 2021.
2. Africa News, “Controversy over the location of Amazon African headquarters in Cape Town,” May 14, 2021.

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Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions

Primed for Pain: Workplace Injuries at Amazon

Primed for Pain: – Strategic Organizing Center (thesoc.org)

Excerpt:

Amazon’s Epidemic of Workplace Injuries

As the largest e-commerce retailer in the US, Amazon took advantage of the massive shift to online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic and saw its US sales increase 39 percent during 2020. The company’s size and influence has expanded at an extraordinary pace. In the ten years between 2010 and 2020, Amazon’s workforce grew from 33,700 to nearly 1.3 million and its annual net income increased from $1.1 billion to $21.3 billion.

The company’s obsession with speed has come at a huge cost for Amazon’s workforce. For more than a decade, Amazon has made headlines for dangerous health and safety conditions in its facilities. In 2019, multiple groups of researchers and journalists analyzed standardized records of worker injuries maintained at Amazon facilities. They found that Amazon’s injury rates were over double the injury rate in the notoriously hazardous general warehousing industry.

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Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions Surveillance Capitalism

Protesters Challenge Amazon Shareholders to Clean Up the Company’s Act

May 24, 2021 protest of Amazon's human rights, labor and environment violations
May 24, 2021 labor unionists, faith-based groups and civil libertarians protest Amazon’s human rights, labor and environment violations.

Here’s a report from the Athena coalition:

Athena.

On Wednesday, Amazon will hold its annual meeting with investors. There, they will continue to celebrate $21.3 billion in pandemic profiteering, dangerous exploitation of workers, and preying on Black, brown and immigrant communities with ICE deportations, police, pollution, and destruction of small business and climate.

Activist shareholders will introduce resolutions to begin to address Amazon’s business model, and your neighbors are assembling at the doors of its biggest shareholders to say we have #EyesOnAmazon shareholders, and expect them to vote with our communities, not Amazon’s destructive agenda.

Eyes On Amazon
This year, more than any other, Amazon’s role in our democracy and economy is on the agenda at its shareholder meeting. The pandemic and murder of George Floyd forced a reckoning over racism in America. Organizers and activists fought back against Amazon’s expanding partnerships with violent police departments; protested the firing of Black whistleblowers who worked at Amazon warehouses; and fought Amazon’s environmental damage in Black and brown neighborhoods, disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

This year we expand our fight, showing up beyond warehouses, beyond Jeff Bezos’ 25-bathroom mansion and beyond ICE headquarters in front of the doors of Amazon’s billionaire shareholders in our cities.

See you on the streets!

And here’s the full document to the shareholders spelling out Amazon’s egregious violations of labor, environmental and human rights:

Amazon 2021-Proxy-Statement

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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.”