Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy urging him to drop the company’s objections to the historic union election on Staten Island and finally recognize the Amazon Labor Union.
“If Amazon can afford to spend $10 billion in stock buybacks to enrich its wealthy shareholders and executives—including the second richest person in the world, Jeff Bezos—it can afford a unionized workforce,” the senators wrote. “If Amazon can spend over $4 million in a single year on union-busting and $213 million on your compensation, it can afford a workforce that can collectively bargain for better wages, better benefits, safer working conditions, and reliable schedules…We strongly urge you to respect the will of Amazon workers by dropping your objections, recognizing the Amazon Labor Union and negotiating in good faith before the NLRB hearing on June 13th. It is time for Amazon to end its blatant disregard of labor law and treat workers with the respect and dignity they deserve.”
Since the workers on Staten Island became the first-ever Amazon warehouse to successfully vote to form a union in the U.S., Amazon has refused to acknowledge their existence, filing 25 objections to the election.
Amazon has invested $4.3 million of their record-breaking $35 billion in profits on union-busting consultants. Amazon’s tactics in their labor war against their employees has included forcing workers to attend anti-union meetings, as well as threatening to slash wages and benefits if they form a union.
The company currently has more than 50 open Unfair Labor Practice cases pending before the NLRB. Amazon has also been penalized more than $75 million for breaking federal discrimination and wage laws.
Last year, Amazon increased its profits by 75 percent to a record-breaking $35 billion while avoiding over $5 billion in taxes.
Read the full letter here.