Amazon union leader breaks up with AOC and says it “threw” them while it celebrates union vote

As the president of the Amazon Labor Union celebrated victory for uniting a warehouse on Staten Island, he thwarted MP Alexandra Acacia-Cortes for refusing to take part in a last-minute rally in support of labor and slowly supporting the movement.

“Any messages for AOC specifically?” Status Coup asked Chris Smalls, organizer of the successful unification of Amazon’s first warehouse in the country. “Damn, no, I’m not giving her no … she doesn’t deserve this moment,” he said.

Amazon has used aggressive tactics for decades to thwart union efforts, and with very little funding, the efforts of Smalls and his union team have been far-fetched. But with political and economic winds in their favor – a tough labor market and a pro-union National Labor Council under President Biden, staff at the execution center known as JFK 8 voted in favor of the Amazon Labor Union.

Last summer, Smalls said he was traveling to Washington, D.C. when members of the squad slept on the steps of the Capitol in protest of the end of the eviction pause. He tried to get them to attend a rally in support of the unions at a warehouse on Staten Island in August.

Smalls said he has personally invited New York progressives such as AOC and Mondaire Jones. “They were positive when I met them in person,” he said in a Krystal Kyle & Friends podcast. “I met Cory Bush on the steps. I brought them ALU shirts. We tried to convince them to come there. The AOC said “yes, take my information”.

ALU President Chris Smallstore addresses Alexandria representative Acacia-Cortes for refusing to take part in a last-minute rally in support of work and slowly supporting the movement

Smalls said she had three meetings with members of her staff. “On the eve of the rally, everything was fine until the last second. They said, “Yeah, they can’t do that.” I was like wow. ‘

“They didn’t give me a real reason other than that there was a security threat to the AOC and I think I just slept with her on the steps in the District of Columbia, she had no security there. There was maybe one person there. It didn’t make sense because they said they canceled all her personal meetings for the rest of the month and then she at the Met Gala.

Last Thursday, when a union vote was announced, Acacia-Cortes tweeted muscle-stretching emoticons in support, sparking criticism from Crystal Ball, co-host of podcast Crystal Kyle and friends and breakpoints, and Progressive Magazine. Charitan.

“These are your constituents and you might not have to worry about appearing until they are on the verge of victory,” Ball wrote on Twitter.

Amazon (ALU) organizer Christian Smalls speaks to the media as ALU members celebrate an official victory after hearing the results of a union vote near the NLRB offices in Brooklyn, New York, USA, April 1.

Amazon (ALU) organizer Christian Smalls speaks to the media as ALU members celebrate an official victory after hearing the results of a union vote near the NLRB offices in Brooklyn, New York, USA, April 1.

Smalls and ALU members hug and celebrate victory after hearing results of union vote on April 1

Smalls and ALU members hug and celebrate victory after hearing results of union vote on April 1

Smalls claimed to have traveled to the District of Columbia and

Smalls claimed to have traveled to the District of Columbia and “personally invited” members of the Cory Bush, AOC and Mandera Jones squad to join his union efforts, but no one showed up.

Smalls said the AOC refused at the last second because of

Smalls said the AOC refused at the last second because of “security concerns”

“The warehouse is not in my area, and maybe you should look at the map before you claim. Apart from the conflict with the schedule, we requested oversight investigations against Amazon, met with Amazon employees at Woodside warehouses and more. I hope next time you will do more due diligence, – said Acacia-Cortes.

Smalls replied to the congresswoman, “Well, @AOC, these horrible workers from your area are definitely going to Staten Island, I know them personally, maybe you should try.”

Chariton jumped: “The workers told me that your people told them at the last minute that it was a security issue, not a conflict in the schedule. Whether your constituency or not, you might think that a New York congressman could write on Twitter – especially in recent weeks – one of the most important union rallies in the United States.

“Security was also an issue. 2021 included many high-level threats to my life that limited what I could do, especially outside. The combination of this +, if we can get the resources / time to provide them, creates conflicts in the schedule + logistics, “said Ocasio-Cortes.

“Sincerely, there are no security issues when we send support to @amazonlabor, trying to win Amazon’s first union with 13 million subscribers. “Your voice and your organizing ability make a difference,” Hariton said.

“There are no security issues at the ceremony,” Ball added with a surprised smiley face.

Smalls said he was also thwarted by Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. “I also talked to Bernie’s people, they say, ‘Oh, we were going to bring you to Congress to testify, it never was.’

The Amazon JFK8 facility voted 2,654 against 2,131 for the merger. The number of employees who had the right to vote was 8,325, the NLRB said at the end of the count. “

Now the center is ready to become the first and only Amazon warehouse among the 110 in the states that have joined the union.

The company employs approximately 1.3 million people nationwide, and it intends to surpass Walmart as the largest private employer in the United States in a year or two.

Winning organized work at the second-largest private employer in the U.S. is a historic first for the retail giant in the United States and a milestone for labor advocates who for years considered Amazon’s work practices a threat to workers.

Smalls was the manager of the institution on Staten Island until he was fired in 2020 for violating the rules of social distancing by attending a walk he helped organize due to unsafe working conditions in the midst of a pandemic.

Smalls and other ALU supporters stand near the Amazon distribution center on Staten Island on October 25

Smalls and other ALU supporters stand near the Amazon distribution center on Staten Island on October 25, holding “Authorization of Representation” forms that were previously delivered to the National Labor Council in New York

JFK8 on Staten Island is Amazon's first union to join unions

JFK8 on Staten Island is Amazon’s first union to join unions

Workers stand in line to vote on whether or not to join a union near the Amazon warehouse on Staten Island on March 25

Workers stand in line to vote on whether or not to join a union near the Amazon warehouse on Staten Island on March 25

Amazon launched Smalls in the spotlight after its chief legal counsel accidentally sent an email to more than 1,000 people, describing Smalls as “unreasonable or expressive,” and recommended making him the “face” of the workers ’organization effort.

“Amazon wanted to make me the face of all the union efforts against them,” Smalls wrote on Twitter on Friday.

Smalls along with his warehouse friend Derrick Palmer have spent the past 11 months reporting on their efforts to unite unions by bringing homemade baked ziti, empanada and West African rice dishes to a bus stop near the warehouse to interest workers, many from different backgrounds.

They had nothing to do with any national labor organization, and although they spent about $ 120,000 on their efforts, Amazon spent about $ 4.3 million on anti-union advisers last year nationwide, according to the New York Times. .

A successful union vote follows a number of Starbucks stores that also voted for the organization.

On Friday, a House oversight group led by representatives of Carolyn Maloney, New York, Ocasio-Cortes and Cory Bush, Missouri, launched a federal investigation into Amazon’s work practices. They wrote a letter to Amazon asking for documents on the company’s policies and procedures, especially during extreme weather events. Last year, a tornado killed six workers in Edwardsville, Illinois, and workers then said executives told them they would be fired if they left their shifts earlier to seek refuge.

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