Amazon Labor Union moves to affiliate with the Teamsters union amid struggles

0
Amazon Labor Union moves to affiliate with the Teamsters union amid struggles

The Amazon Labor Union, a grassroots labor group that won a major victory at an Amazon warehouse two years ago, has agreed to affiliate with the Teamsters union, a move that’s bound to inject new energy into the struggling organization.

Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien announced the affiliation during the union’s general executive board meeting in Washington on Tuesday, the union wrote in a post on X.

If ratified, members of the Amazon Labor Union, which belong to one warehouse located in the New York City borough of Staten Island, will essentially join the Teamsters as an “autonomous” local union with the same rights and duties as a standard chapter, according to the agreement.

The Teamsters said its board has already unanimously approved the affiliation, a step that will bring them closer to their goal of unionizing Amazon’s non-corporate workforce.

Amazon Labor Union President Chris Smalls wrote in a post on X that the labor group was combining forces “with one of the most powerful unions to take on Amazon together.”

“Our message is clear we want a Contract and we want it now,” Smalls wrote, referring to the union contract his organization still hasn’t been able to secure more than two years after becoming the only one to ever pull off a labor win at Amazon warehouse in the U.S.

Since then, the ALU has faced many other challenges, including two election losses at other Amazon warehouses and internal strife about its organizing strategy. Some organizers have left to form the ALU Democratic Reform Caucus, a dissident group that sued the union last year to force an election for new leadership. That election is expected to be held in July outside of the warehouse that voted to unionize, said Arthur Schwartz, an attorney who represents the dissident group.

Already, the agreement announced by the leaders of both organizations is facing pushback from the caucus. Schwartz said the Teamsters have indicated they want the ALU membership to ratify the new agreement before the union holds its internal leadership election in July. But he said that will pose a challenge because the ALU currently doesn’t have an updated list of members, which the caucus has been seeking for the internal election that’s currently underway.

Representatives for Amazon and the Teamsters did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here