Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Labor actions

Amazon Workers in IE to Strike Friday

I am Anna Ortega and I work at KSBD, Amazon’s air hub in San Bernardino.

I’m writing today to let you know that we, Inland Empire Amazon Workers United, are going on strike this Friday, October 14 to protest Amazon’s unfair labor practices and send a strong message to Amazon that workers at KSBD and across the country are standing up for what we deserve!

Amazon managers and Amazon consultants have responded to us by targeting, threatening and trying to intimidate us. Here’s a quick recap of what’s been going down at KSBD:

  • By August, 900+ workers signed a petition for an hourly pay increase.
  • Then 150+ of us walked off the job to demand better pay, safe working conditions, and an end to retaliation.
  • During September’s heatwave, we recorded temperatures as high as 121 degrees onsite and confronted management about health and safety concerns.
  • A few weeks ago, Amazon announced just $1/hour pay increase.

We gave Amazon a deadline (yesterday) to meet our demands, and they failed. Now, we are on strike to protest Amazon’s unfair labor practices and shameful response to us fighting for better, safer jobs with fair wages and an end to retaliation.

This is our home and these are our jobs. We are going to do everything in our power to make them safe and to make sure we can pay our rent, buy gas, eat three meals and do more than just survive.

Want to support us? Here’s how:

Un abrazo,  Anna Ortega


Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions Stand with Palestine

Amazon and Google Workers Oppose Apartheid Tech

Amazon and Google tech workers have called mass actions against the corporations’ participation in high-tech projects that enforce Israeli apartheid and militarism against the Palestinian people for Thursday, Sept. 8 in NY, Seattle and San Francisco.

From their press release:

Hundreds of employees of the American tech giants Google and Amazon are scheduled to organize three vigils next Thursday outside the headquarters of the two companies calling for the cancellation of Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion deal with Israel that will provide it with cloud storage services and artificial intelligence tools.

The #NoTechForApartheid movement said vigils are also expected to be held in the cities of San Francisco, New York and Seattle in an effort to prevent Israel from using technology in its crimes against the Palestinian people.

The movement, which was founded last year, has also started a campaign to sign a petition calling on the management of the two companies to cancel the deal. The deal, so far been signed by nearly 40,000 American citizens, calls on the two tech giants to “stop dealing with the Israeli apartheid regime and withdraw from the Nimbus project.”

The petition affirmed its solidarity with hundreds of Amazon and Google employees who are courageously calling for withdrawal from the Nimbus contract.

You can sign the petition on their website:

There is also a national planning call for solidarity with Amazon workers against union busting for the same day.

Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Labor actions

Walkout at Amazon Air Hub in San Bernardino


Dozens of Amazon employees at the company’s air hub in San Bernardino, Calif., on Monday abandoned their workstations mid-shift over low wages and concerns regarding heat safety.

The walkout in Southern California marks the first coordinated labor action in Amazon’s growing airfreight division, which uses Prime-branded planes to fly packages and goods around the country much like UPS or FedEx. The employees, who are independently organized, said they didn’t plan to return to work on Monday, in an effort to pressure Amazon to raise wages and improve safety.

[pictured above, leaders of Inland Empire Amazon Workers United, Sara Fee, left, Daniel Rivera and Melissa Ojeda]

Organizers said more than 150 people walked out Monday afternoon, and managers had already slowed some operations in anticipation of the action. While a small fraction of the 1,500 employees who work at the hub in various shifts walked out, such a work stoppage can create logistical headaches and disruptions.
Here’s their walk-out video as posted on twitter:
Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions

Amazon Plan to Control Workers: Hire Only ‘the Vulnerable’


In a memo leaked to Recode, Amazon honchos said it would hire students from poor households and people just let out of jail after finishing their sentences. The implication is they would be desperate for jobs and join Amazon. Unable to afford advancement through college, for example, they would be trapped into remaining at Amazon. The memo says that those “vulnerable adult workers would become pro-company speakers.”

And for California the Amazon memo envisions a “school to warehouse pipeline”—their words—to funnel young L.A. high schoolers and community college grads into its monster facilities. Amazon also proposed eliminating its employment interviewers’ questions to job applicants about pot use. The racist implication is that minority youth using the drug would be even more vulnerable and prone to super exploitation.

The memo also calls upon Amazon to launch a PR campaign designed to ingratiate itself with community groups. And Amazon would shine up its image by supporting organizations that campaign for social change, such as better schools and job opportunities for ex-inmates.

… The memo characterizes both groups as “vulnerable people” open to an Amazon message of immediate jobs. According to the Amazon plan,  they then become company defenders against the union.

The memo admitted Amazon began with two big disadvantages: Negative perceptions of its impact on communities and local businesses and its low pay. Though the memo did not say so, the negative impact resulted in civic defeats of Amazon warehouse construction projects not just in Southern California but in Colorado, New York City, and elsewhere.


Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions

Amazon Workers in Motion


About 4,000 unionists from across the country and 200 international guests from around the world attended the Labor Notes conference the weekend of June 17–19 in Chicago. …A conference panel titled “Amazon Workers in Motion” highlighted some of the union organizing efforts that mark new developments in the U.S. labor movement. Among the most important is the Amazon Labor Union’s (ALU) stunning April 1 victory in the union election at JFK8, Amazon’s giant fulfillment center in Staten Island, New York. The panel brought together four Amazon workers from four different geographic regions, each with its own history and demographics. These union organizers shared their experiences while outlining differing views on strategy and tactics.

Pictured above on the panel:  From left: Moderator Bianca Cunningham; Chris Zamarron, a cofounder of Amazonians United (AU); Rev. Ryan Brown, President of the Carolina Amazonians United for Solidarity and Empowerment (CAUSE); Angelika Maldonado, Amazon Labor Union (ALU) interim vice president; and Isaiah Thomas, a dock worker at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, and member of the BAmazon organizing committee, affiliated with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). (Photo: Screenshot from panel video, courtesy Labor Notes).

Video of this panel is available online here.

Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Labor actions Surveillance Capitalism

Every Move You Make-Amazon is Watching You


Infamously, Amazon punishes and sometimes fires warehouse workers who it believes are wasting time at work. A new filing obtained by Motherboard gives detailed insight into how Amazon tracks and records every minute of “time off task” (which it calls TOT) with radio-frequency handheld scanners that warehouse associates use to track customer packages.

The documents, filed with the National Labor Relations Board as part of a dispute at the recently-unionized Amazon warehouse in Staten Island called JFK8, reveal that workers can receive a written warning for accumulating 30 minutes of time off task in a day one time in a rolling one year period. They can be fired if they accumulate 120 minutes of time off task in a single day or if they have accumulated 30 minutes of time off task on three separate days in a one year period. Examples and sample spreadsheets provided in the documents show Amazon tracking, down to the minute, the amount of time individual workers spent in the bathroom and infractions such as “talking to another Amazon associate,” going to the wrong floor of a warehouse, and, as an example, an unaccounted for 11-minute period where a worker “does not remember” what they were doing.
Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions Surveillance Capitalism

Exposing the Harms of AWS

Exposing AWS Rally in D.C.

Tuesday May 24, 11:30 AM Eastern Time

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

801 Mt Vernon Pl NW, Washington DC

Despite being a seemingly invisible force, Amazon has inflicted immeasurable harm on Black and Brown communities by supporting and colluding with state violence. Join us on Tuesday May 24, 11:30am-1pm in DC to help expose AWS at Amazon’s (AWS) Summit. We will be there, to demand an end to the harms of Amazon in our communities, including through the surveillance of workers and providing tech for pol(ice), prisons, and apartheid.

We’ll be hosting an art installation outside of the Convention Center to shed light on Amazon’s harms and to galvanize our community to rally and resist Amazon. Join us to tell this megacorporation that we reject their violence!

**ICYMI** Check out last night’s teach-in on AWS’ harms! We learned a lot from great speakers including Myaisha Hayes (MediaJustice), Aly Panjwani (ACRE), and Paromita Shah (Just Futures Law). Learn more about the Northern Virginia Coalition here and here

Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions

Amazon Warehouses Injuring More Workers


“Our injury rates are sometimes misunderstood,” wrote Amazon CEO Andy Jassy in a recent letter to shareholders. Asserting that the company’s incident rates are “a little higher” than the warehouse industry average, Jassy states that the company nonetheless has room for improvement, and is “dissecting every process path” to lower the rates.

It’s a bold obfuscation. Contra Jassy’s assertions, Amazon’s well-established problem of grinding down its ever-expanding workforce has only gotten more dire, even as the company claims that it seeks to become “Earth’s Safest Place to Work.”

The numbers Jassy uses in his letter are misleading. He writes that Amazon’s warehouse workers are injured at a rate of 6.4 per 100 workers, compared to the industry average of 5.5 per 100 workers. But those are the numbers from 2020 rather than 2021. Last year’s numbers are worse: according to a recent report from the union coalition Strategic Organizing Center (SOC), the total injury rate among Amazon workers in 2021 was 7.9 per 100 workers, a sharp increase from 2020.

Further, comparing Amazon’s rate to the industry average fails to account for the fact that Amazon employs around one-third of all warehouse workers in the United States; much better to compare Amazon’s rate to that of all non-Amazon warehouses. The SOC report does so, finding the serious injury rate at Amazon is more than twice as high as that of its counterparts.

Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Labor actions

Amazon’s Speed-Up Threaten Workers


Reports of high injury rates and high turnover rates at Amazon warehouses around the US as a result of immense productivity pressures and quota rates on workers have been documented by numerous media outlets and organizations over the past several years and confirmed by OSHA logs. Amazon shareholders have recently called for an independent safety audit of the company.

On 1 January 2021, the state of Washington increased workers compensation premiums for Amazon due to higher injury rates at Amazon warehouses compared with other warehouses in the state.

In December 2021, the National Employment Law Project released a report on injury rates at Amazon’s six warehouses in Minnesota, revealing those facilities have injury rates twice as high as rates for other warehouses in the state, and more than four times the average for all industries in the state.

Amazon/Whole Foods Monopoly Power Boycott Amazon Campaign Labor actions

Amazon Milking Opportunity Zones for Tax Breaks


Amazon has been heavily expanding into areas that the government designates for special tax incentives, according to a new analysis that comes amid growing regulatory scrutiny of the e-commerce giant.

The company has located delivery stations, fulfillment centers and even an air hub in “opportunity zones,” regions across the country where investors can qualify for capital gains tax breaks under a 2017 law.

The initiative had bipartisan backing and was intended to incentivize investment in some of the most economically distressed regions of the country. But critics of the program have raised concerns that such programs further enrich wealthy investors and corporations for projects that would have happened without government assistance.

And because there aren’t requirements that investors and corporations publicly report how they are using the tax breaks, it’s difficult to measure impact. Experts say it’s impossible to know if the program is having the intended effect of creating jobs and affordable housing — or simply exacerbating economic divides.

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