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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Amazon Labor Union and Teamsters join forces

ALU President Chris Smalls speaking in 2023 -- image via X

In a step that both unions are calling a "milestone" and "historic", the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) has formally affiliated with the 1.3 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Chris Smalls, President of the ALU announced the affiliation along with the Teamsters on X saying "Today is an historical day for labor in America as we now combine forces with one of the most powerful unions to take on Amazon together. Our message is clear we want a Contract and we want it Now. We’re putting Amazon on notice that we are coming!"

According to a Teamsters' press release the "newly chartered ALU-International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 1 will represent the roughly 8,000 Amazon warehouse workers at JFK8 and have jurisdiction across New York’s five boroughs. This will be the first ALU-IBT local union fully established under the Teamsters Constitution. Members of ALU-IBT Local 1 will have access to the financial and organizational resources of the Teamsters International Union, the Teamsters Amazon Division, and Teamsters Joint Council 16 in New York."

Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien said of the affiliation: “Together we are creating an unstoppable movement to take on Amazon. Building relationships with workers, communities nationwide, and rank-and-file Teamsters has been essential to creating the capacity to stand up to Amazon — and this affiliation demonstrates it. It will require unprecedented unity and long-term investment to finally force this company to respect working people and fairly negotiate. Amazon is far and away the greediest of American corporations. It does the most harm to American workers in delivery and logistics. In this partnership, the Teamsters and ALU will ensure Amazon workers at JFK8 realize the first contract they are long overdue. We will continue to expand our organizing campaigns nationwide. We will exhaust all resources to hold Amazon accountable as a direct employer and dismantle its corrupt DSP program. The Teamsters proudly set the standard in the industry with our historic agreement protecting 340,000 UPS Teamsters, and we will make sure that standard is upheld at every other company, and especially at Amazon.”

The Teamsters’ General Executive Board unanimously approved the affiliation agreement.

ALU members will vote to ratify the affiliation in the coming weeks.


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