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Demand Amazon and Starbucks recognize unions now!

The following message was sent to IWA through the Support Amazon Workers Network, we encourage all member organizations to attend planning meetings and participate in actions to support these important unionization efforts!

The national wave of union organizing and militancy spearheaded by Starbucks workers and Amazon workers is the biggest upsurge in worker organizing since the 1930s and 1940s. The organizing wave has spread to Trader Joe’s, Chipotle, Apple, REI and a growing list of chain stores and industries.

The Amazon Labor Union, following the historic union election victory April 1 at the JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island, has filed for representation elections at additional warehouses in Kentucky and New York state. Amazon organizing is spreading everywhere, led by multiple unions and worker organizations such as Carolina Amazonians United for Solidarity and Empowerment (CAUSE).

Starbucks workers, who have organized well over 200 stores since last November, recently won significant legal victories. First, a federal court upheld the order by the National Labor Relations Board to reinstate the Memphis Seven — mostly Black and Brown workers who constituted the organizing committee at a Starbucks store in Memphis. Next the NLRB ruled that Starbucks had been illegally denying pay and benefits specifically to workers at stores that voted for the union.

But Starbucks boss Howard Schultz adamantly refuses to follow these legal directives, instead dragging Starbucks Workers United through a lengthy legal appeals process. The union has filed hundreds of Unfair Labor Practice charges against Starbucks that the NLRB has not ruled on.

In the same vein Amazon has refused to recognized the election victory of the Amazon Labor Union at the JFK8 warehouse. Instead of negotiating with the ALU, Amazon filed 25 separate charges against the union and the NLRB, delaying recognition and a first contract for months while the ALU waits for the NLRB to rule.

Firings and other retaliatory acts led union-busting poster children Jeff Bezos and Howard Schultz are continuing unabated. But efforts to crush the workers uprising are by no means limited to Starbucks and Amazon owners. Wall Street and the U.S. capitalist class are fully behind this war to destroy a new workers movement before it spreads further.

In fact, this uprising of workers, which holds the potential of not only saving the labor movement but transforming it, is under life-threatening attack. We must unite in defense of the brave young workers that are the vanguard of this transformative workers struggle.

Working class solidarity can secure and expand the gains that this youth-led labor movement has achieved.

Attend the virtual solidarity mobilization meeting for coordinated mass actions across the country! Register here

Thursday, September 8

7pm et | 6pm ct | 5pm mt | 4pm pt

We have proposed these dates for coordinated mass actions across the country:

  • Monday, Sept. 5, Labor Day (or around that date, depending on the city): Organize a presence at Labor Day marches or organize your own action; the Amazon Labor Union is holding an action with Starbucks Workers United in New York City, Sept. 5.

  • Thursday, Sept. 29: Put on a pro-union protest action on “National Coffee Day,” promoted by Starbucks management.

  • Saturday, Oct. 1: The six-month anniversary of the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) election victory on April 1 (which up to this point Amazon has refused to recognize) (and also International Coffee Day).

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