"Today, Amazon put warehouse workers in the hospital – again and one is fighting for their life in the ICU right now. Amazon's automated robots put humans in life-threatening danger today, the effects of which could be catastrophic and the long-term effects for 80+ workers are unknown. This is another outrageous example of the company putting profits over the health and safety of their workers, and we cannot stand for this. The richest company in the world cannot continue to be let off the hook for putting hard working people's lives at risk. Our union will not back down until Amazon is held accountable for these and so many more dangerous labor practices," said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
Who is the world’s worst boss? Read the facts and vote for Amazon's Jeff Bezos today. The winner of the world’s worst boss will be unveiled during the ITUC World Congress in Copenhagen, 2 – 7 December 2018.You can only vote for one of the ten bosses. When you have voted, email or share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter. VOTE HERE!
At NYC's City Hall today, the RWDSU was joined by community groups and elected officials to announce the release of "What's Wrong With Amazon?," a report detailing how Amazon's practices affect workers and communities. Read the report here:
A strong new contract for poultry workers at Koch Foods in Macon, Georgia, has been ratified unanimously by the RWDSU members who work there. Preparation for contract negotiations began long before face to face meetings with the company. To develop proposals that would have the most impact on members’ lives, Allen Mayne, Director of Collective Bargaining, Sandra Williams, RWDSU Representative and Desire Tillman, RWDSU Organizer, met with workers for over several months. The result was a new, groundbreaking three-year collective bargaining agreement that addressed all of the members’ priorities. In addition to generous guaranteed annual wage increases in each year of the contract, jobs classification rates were significantly increased and upgraded, resulting contractual raises for members ranging from $1.00 to over $2.00 per hour. The contract also strengthened language on seniority rights throughout the contract. The new contract ends any outsourcing of bargaining unit work, and new grievance and arbitration language expands workers’ rights and ensured fairness throughout the process. The new contract also protects the health care benefits and prohibits any changes.
Elected officials, the RWDSU, and community groups including Make the Road New York, NYCC, ALIGN and others gathered at the proposed site of the new Amazon HQ2 in Queens, New York, today to speak out against the over $3 billion in taxpayer subsidies the richest corporation in the world will be receiving to set up shop in NYC. The press conference and rally called for the city to demand that Amazon give back to the community rather than take, and called attention to the housing and transportation difficulties that the facility, which will house 25,000 Amazon employees, will cause in the community.
“New York deserves better than the deal that was struck to lure Amazon here. Its hard to believe that we are giving as much as $1 billion dollars to one of the wealthiest and largest companies in history. This was an opportunity to create good jobs in a way that benefits the city and workers. We should be demanding that Amazon respects its workforce by allowing them to exercise their right to freely associate. We should be demanding that they give back to the community and not drain public resources. Instead we got played. Amazon can afford to come here without handouts. Its embarrassing to think that such a great city would need to beg them to come. They are coming here because they need to come here - because we offer so much. Tax payers shouldn’t be on the hook to help Amazon be profitable – it’s a massively profitable private business. New York, we can and should do better,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
An Op-Ed at the Chicago Sun Times says workers and unions are in a much better position following the Nov. 6 midterm elections. Read it here
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, November 5, 2018 STATEMENT FROM RWDSU: "Amazon, one of the wealthiest and largest companies in history, needs the city more than the city needs Amazon – plain and simple. If Amazon wants to come here they can afford to do so on their own. RWDSU is deeply concerned about using tax payer subsidies for a company run by the richest man on earth to set up shop in our city, especially when it’s something they want to do and can do on their own anyway. Tax payers shouldn’t be on the hook to help Amazon be profitable – it’s a massively profitable private business,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
Members at RWDSU Local 578 of Rochelle, Illinois, who work at Americold, ratified a new five-year agreement calling for wage increases each year and a new improved wage progression structure, stronger seniority protections and job posting language, as well as improved bereavement leave, additional trainer pay, and reduced costs for members for insurance premiums. Americold is a cold storage facility. Members of the Bargaining Committee we’re Anthony Chamberlain, Jason Good and Ross Ferger as well as Daniel Williams, President of RWDSU, Local 578 and Kelly Osborne, Recorder of Local 578. Assisting the Committee was Dennis Williams, Sr. Business Representative for the Central States Council, RWDSU and Roger Grobstich, RWDSU Representative.
Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams delivers a personal message to RWDSU members in a new video released by her campaign. Abrams voices her support for the labor movement, and its importance in creating a better economy for all Georgians. Early voting is open in Georgia through Friday, November 2. And Election Day is Tuesday November 6. If you need help getting to the polls, please call 888-730-5816. RWDSU is also hosting a Tele-Town Hall with Stacey Abrams on Saturday, November 3rd at 7:00pm. All you need to do to particpate is call in at the number provided below. Georgia members (along with friends and family) are invited to volunteer to get out the vote on Saturday November, 3rd. There are two events in both Atlanta and Columbus. If you are interested in attending, please call RWDSU Deputy Political Director Edgard Laborde at (917) 593-3838. Info for the events is below: ATLANTA501 Pulliam St SW, 3rd Floor, Atlanta, GA9:00AM - 1:30PM COLUMBUS502 1st Avenue, Columbus, GA2:PM to 4:00PM