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Heath Lopez, an Amazon driver from Palmdale and member of Teamsters Local 396, said: "We are all living paycheck to paycheck. We have to deal with unsafe vans, aggressive dogs, and exhausting workloads, but all Amazon cares about is whether the package got delivered. Each time we extend our picket line to a new warehouse, more and more Amazon workers join the fight. We will keep expanding this unfair labor practice strike until Amazon takes responsibility for our working conditions."
The strike began on June 24th and has since spread to 25 warehouses in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. Victor Mineros of Teamsters Local 396 in Los Angeles said: "These workers are directly challenging Amazon's exploitative business model and its violations of the law that are driving down standards across our industry. Amazon executives are getting rich by underpaying and overworking their employees but Amazon workers are fighting back."
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In April of this year 84 workers in Palmdale organized with the Teamsters becoming the first union of Amazon drivers in the country. They bargained a contract with Amazon's Delivery Service Partner (DSP), Battle-Tested Strategies (BTS). Despite having absolute control over BTS and workers' terms and conditions of employment, Amazon refuses to recognize or honor their union contract. Instead they have engaged in dozens of unfair labor practices which violate federal labor law including terminating their entire unit of newly organized workers.
The strikers will continue until all their demands are met which include reinstating unlawfully terminated Palmdale employees; recognizing the Teamsters Union; respecting their negotiated contract; and bargaining with them to address low pay and dangerous working conditions. The Teamster contract guarantees rights for workers such as driving safe equipment and refusing unsafe deliveries but making these protections a reality requires an overhaul of Amazon's exploitative labor practices.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.3 million hardworking people across North America who are fighting for better wages and working conditions for all employees regardless of industry or employer size.
Filed Under: Business
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