Amazon Labor Union Says Yes To Affiliation With Teamsters

The following statement was released by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters about the Amazon labor union’s new affiliation with it.

In a milestone for organized labor, the Amazon Labor Union has formally affiliated with the 1.3 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The affiliation supplies renewed representation and stronger resources for Amazon workers — behind the wheel and inside warehouses — as they organize and demand a contract from the global behemoth.

Amazon Labor Union members will vote to ratify the affiliation in the coming weeks. The affiliation was announced by Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien on Tuesday during the union’s General Executive Board meeting in Washington, D.C. The Teamsters’ board unanimously approved the affiliation agreement.

The newly chartered ALU-International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 1 will represent the roughly 8,000 Amazon warehouse workers at JFK8 and have jurisdiction across New York’s five boroughs. This will be the first ALU-IBT local union fully established under the Teamsters Constitution. Members of ALU-IBT Local 1 will have access to the financial and organizational resources of the Teamsters International Union, the Teamsters Amazon Division, and Teamsters Joint Council 16 in New York.

“Together we are creating an unstoppable movement to take on Amazon. Building relationships with workers, communities nationwide, and rank-and-file Teamsters has been essential to creating the capacity to stand up to Amazon — and this affiliation demonstrates it,” O’Brien said. “It will require unprecedented unity and long-term investment to finally force this company to respect working people and fairly negotiate. Amazon is far and away the greediest of American corporations. It does the most harm to American workers in delivery and logistics. In this partnership, the Teamsters and ALU will ensure Amazon workers at JFK8 realize the first contract they are long overdue. We will continue to expand our organizing campaigns nationwide. We will exhaust all resources to hold Amazon accountable as a direct employer and dismantle its corrupt DSP program. The Teamsters proudly set the standard in the industry with our historic agreement protecting 340,000 UPS Teamsters, and we will make sure that standard is upheld at every other company, and especially at Amazon.”

“Today is an historic day for labor in America as we now combine forces with one of the most powerful unions in the country to take on Amazon together,” said ALU President Chris Smalls. “Our message is clear. We want a contract and we want it now. We are putting Amazon on notice that we are coming. It is time to bargain.”

“Affiliation between the Amazon Labor Union and the Teamsters represents the very best shot for workers to collectively expand the national, necessary, and militant campaign to win the rights that we deserve,” said Connor Spence of the ALU Democratic Reform Caucus. “The chartering of a new ALU-IBT local union in New York will be a future model for Amazon organizing efforts. With the support and strength of 1.3 million Teamsters across the country, Amazon workers will not lose.”

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.3 million hardworking people in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit Teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at Facebook.com/teamsters.

 

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