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On picket lines

 


Definition of labor union: an organization of workers formed for the purpose of advancing its members' interests in respect to wages, benefits, and working conditions



Ok, so here's the deal: I have a favor to ask you. And it has to do with what Amazon, the behemoth that has made billions during the pandemic and pays virtually no taxes is doing to its employees: boycott it for a week. Just a week. Would you do that? No deliveries, no Amazon Prime. No buying and downloading Kindle books. No Twitch, no GoodReads. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. No Pesos for Bezos.

The workers at a Bassamer, Alabama, facility are voting to see whether they'll unionize. If they do, they'll be the first Amazon workers to unionize and that may probably be the most important election for the working class in America in the XXI century. Yeah, it's that important. I know what Unions can do for workers. I belong to a Union. They have saved my stupid ass once or three times. They negotiate my salary. I owe them. Big.

Oh, you don't believe me? Having a Union is so important that this happened:

Amazon, meanwhile, has seemingly done everything within its power to squelch the unionization effort. Beyond the predicted barrage of anti-union messaging, Amazon reportedly even went as far as lobbying local government to change traffic signals to stop pro-union workers from canvassing at red lights. 

"When it comes to this union busting, it's severe. We've never seen anything like it on this level," Joshua Brewer, an organizer with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, told The Guardian in an interview. 


Amazon, the greedy bastards, are doing all they can short of face to face harassment to prevent this voting from being successful. All I'm asking here is just a little bit of patience. I know, you just NEED that pair of biking shorts. Or that yarn or wool. Or that gift for your nephew. Or that Pete Buttigieg autobiography. But I'm asking you to wait just one week. Seven days. To show support for fellow working class people. People who work under fucked up conditions and are literally exploited by Amazon. You know how the work situation is right now. Unemployment is sky high. People are working for miserable wages in terrible conditions.

As Amazon workers busted their assess working and as more than 20,000 amazon workers got COVID-19, Bezo's net worth rose $70 BILLION since the pandemic began. That money could pay for a $60,000 bonus for each and every one of the 1-million-plus Amazon employees worldwide. How's that for greed?

So if you feel you can do without Amazon for a week, would you? Think about it as armchair (or desk chair) activism. I don't have Amazon Prime and I don't buy a lot of stuff from Amazon. I have never given them my credit card number. I don't have Alexa in my house *shudders*. I was going to send a gift via Amazon but now I'm going to do Etsy. So, how about you? Sounds like a deal? For our fellow workers?

I don't know what else to tell you, besides the working conditions at Amazon not being the best. From work-related injuries to downright fucked up take-it-or-leave-it schedules to low wages and no medical insurance to all kinds of shenanigans. You may be (or could have been ) a worker at some point. How about one week without crossing this virtual picket line? After that, you can go back to your bingeing bad movies and ordering shit online. But meanwhile... maybe don't?

We don't want that old 'First they came for the Amazon workers and we didn't do anything...' thing to apply to us, do we?


XOXO

P.S. Wanna know more about unions? Check out Kirs LaGrange or Steven Greenhouse for a quick primer. 


Comments

  1. The working conditions at amazon - everyone knows - are terrible. I'm sorry that Besos (his name means "kisses" in Spanish) behaves in such a slave-like manner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely.
      But it's something that people are willing to put up with in exchange for getting what they want when they want it. We are a consumerist society.

      XOXO

      Delete
    2. Even in Italy there are amazon centers, and I have heard that the working conditions are heavy and stressful. But it's not just there, really. Society is dehumanizing!

      Delete
  2. It is not just Amazon. Every national retailer out there is actively working to bust unions, and if a store does unionize it usually gets shut down. Corporate America as a whole hates unions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, corporate hates unions, that's for sure.
      Unions cut into their profits and does not let them use employees as indentured servants. Welcome to the jungle.

      XOXO

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. That's right!
      Always on the side of the underdog.

      XOXO

      Delete
  4. I have found other outlets for my online shopping in the past year. I have no prime membership and no alexa. I would like to punch bezos's ugly smirking face hard and repeatedly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes!
      Same. I don't order a lot online and now I've gotten into Etsy and I'm trying to stay away from Amazon. And I share your feelings for Bezos, even though now Amazon is much bigger than just him.

      XOXO

      Delete
  5. This will be easy for me. I buy NOTHING Amazon. Never have, never will.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fantastic.
      You're the perfect example that tells people that Amazon is not really needed. People have made themselves believe that they do.

      XOXO

      Delete
  6. I hope the employees win. As one of them from that fulfillment center put it in an interview: "It's not about wages, we get fair wages. It's about working conditions."
    It's not a problem for me to avoid purchasing anything. Especially right now. We've had so many disasters on the homefront the past month, we can't afford to breathe on anything we own for fear it will break. XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Correct.
      Having good wages in terrible working conditions is very bad. There are stories of people collapsing on the floor and getting delayed attention because they cannot just stop. Inhumane. And conspicuous consumption is not a necessity. Good for you!

      XOXO

      Delete
  7. I haven't done any business with Amazon for, I think, a couple of years now, because of the way they treat their employees. Here's another option for ordering books which I use (part of every sale goes to support local bookstores). Almost everything Amazon sells, there's another option for getting it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Infidel, I used Bookshop also. It's an excellent option. We need more like it...not corporate bullshit companies.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for that link, Infidel!
      Will definitely use it. Before the pandemic, I really tried to buy from independent sellers. I used it as a escape from suburbia. And you are right. For almost everything Amazon sells, there's an option.

      XOXO

      Delete
    3. Many small and mid-size publishers have made it possible to purchase directly from them. The latest Stephen King, "LATER," for instance. Unless, of course, the tome you want is published by one of the Big 5...then you'll have to go to a Big Box Bookseller or order it from your local Independent Bookstore.
      The one thing people seem to forget when it comes to Amazon...a large number of items you order are from Independent Small Businesses who pay a fee to Amazon. The other big online retailers (Etsy) work the same way. XOXO

      Delete
  8. As was said, the wages are pretty good. But the working conditions are the problem. They’re asking for one week. For you Catholics out there, you deny yourself for Lent for 40 days, surely you can go one week for your fellow man. Most of us on here are not repugs, so we do have a heart and can empathize with true plight.

    XOXO 👨‍❤️‍đź’‹‍👨

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha
      I know, right? One week. That's all. I know that for some people it may seem forever, but it really is nothing. There are so many other options...

      XOXO

      Delete
  9. the mistress would kiss you. he despises amazon as much as trump. i myself used it till my brother worked there. hated it and said it was appaulling. he also said if your a prime member..people are fools...people don't even use half the benefits or even need them really for the membership price. and prime day is not all its cracked to be. like most places the price is inflated for them to make their money. not to mention the screw over they give many a small business. amazon has wanted to buy small business..and if they don't sell it...amazon basically sufficates them till the cease to exist..then buys them out. My brother woke me to the evils of this company...and those who believe they don't hurt the small business are living in lala land.i no longer use them. besides the mistress would have me beheaded.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know!
      I thought about her when I wrote this. And I think people do not realize how terrible the working conditions are at Amazon until they have first hand experience with it, like you and your brother did. I would forever try to support small businesses instead of giving my money to Amazon. Screw them and their greedy ways.
      Darn it. If Maddie were not on vacay, she would have joined me on my tiny revolution.

      XOXO

      Delete
  10. Hmmm... I was going to get a Prime membership today... seriously. I got tired of asking the bf to order things for me (he has one). We watch a lot of Prime movies on the weekend. I had no idea that Bozo needed to make more billions. It seems... wrong. You know... to make all that money and not share it with those that made you so rich to begin with. What lesson could Bozo learn? Hmmm. Why does the obvious never seem so when it comes to rich people and their stupid wealth? Well, stay tuned. I will be. Thanks for sharing this, hon. Kizzes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG were you?
      But I think the BF could share it? You'd think that Amazon would be generous enough to have like, household memberships? I have no idea. And like you, many people watch Amazon because it comes with the membership. TBH many of the movies are not that good and they look like after school specials. Or are thirty years old.
      And you know Bozos (typo and it stays) does not need more millions. Neither do the people who make part of the giant that is Amazon, but greed knows no limits.

      XOXO

      Delete
  11. Won't be a problem for me. I'm another who hates Amazon. Never ordered or viewed any on their programming. The company will continue sadly because people are cheap and to lazy to actually go to a small business and order or shop. We're soon designated for big box , big corporate and cold clinical robotic lifestyles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay!
      I don't like them. Oh, and the company will continue, even without Bezos at the helm. He's leaving but his investors will keep squeezing the lemon until there's no juice. They distribute food now, no?
      People like convenience and are steeped in their privilege. They will sell their soul if it brings them comfort and they are not bothered. So sad.
      Cold, clinical, robotic lifestyles is correct.

      XOXo

      Delete

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