Amazon Drivers In Illinois Strike Over Unfair Labor Practices

The following statement was issued by the Teamsters.

Amazon drivers at the company’s DIL7 delivery station in Skokie, Ill., went on strike this morning over the delivery giant’s numerous violations of federal labor law. The 100 drivers who organized with Teamsters Local 705 in Chicago are demanding Amazon recognize their union and bargain a fair contract.

“I work for one of the richest men in the world and I’ve had to skip meals to make sure my child eats and my bills are paid,” said Ebony Echevarria, a striking Amazon driver. “That’s just not right. My co-workers and I are fighting for respect, decent pay, and safe working conditions for us and for all Amazon workers.”

Amazon workers in Skokie live paycheck to paycheck off low wages, typically being paid around $20 per hour, and are rarely scheduled a full 40-hour work week. The workers want affordable, quality health care to replace an expensive, subpar health plan. They are also demanding safe working conditions after years of being forced to drive dangerous vans and pressured by the company not to report injuries.

“Amazon workers around the country are organizing with the Teamsters to get the pay, safety and respect that they deserve,” said Randy Korgan, Director of the Teamsters Amazon Division. “Other warehousing and delivery Teamsters are on the picket line with them today because when workers are united, we are stronger than Amazon.”

Amazon dodges responsibility for its drivers through its Delivery Service Partner (DSP) subcontractor business model, exercising total control over the wages, workplace conditions, and safety standards of the DSPs. The drivers in Skokie organized their union at Amazon’s Four Star Express Delivery DSP.

The Teamsters recently joined Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and a bipartisan coalition of over 30 Senators in demanding that Amazon cooperate with a Congressional inquiry requesting information on its exploitative DSP program.

“Every Amazon driver knows who our true employer is,” said Luke Cianciotto, one of the striking Amazon drivers. “We wear their uniforms and drive their trucks. They decide whether we can be hired or fired. We make them their profits and we organized a union with the Teamsters for our fair share.”

Amazon drivers in Skokie were inspired by other Amazon workers, including drivers from Palmdale, Calif., who organized with Teamsters Local 396 and have picketed over 30 Amazon warehouses around the country in an ongoing unfair labor practice strike.

On June 18, Amazon warehouse workers at the JFK8 facility in Staten Island, N.Y., voted by an overwhelming 98.3 percent in favor of affiliating with the Teamsters. More than 5,500 warehouse workers will be members of newly chartered ALU-IBT Local 1, gaining renewed representation and powerful resources to demand a contract from the trillion-dollar global corporation.

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