Amazon Workers' Union Affiliates with Teamsters in Strategic Partnership

By Madz Dizon

Jun 05, 2024 01:12 AM EDT

Amazon Workers' Union Affiliates with Teamsters in Strategic Partnership
The new 620,000-square-foot Amazon facility in Johnston County, North Carolina, will provide employment for over 1,000 individuals in the area.
(Photo : SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images)

A grassroots labor group, the Amazon Labor Union, has recently made the decision to affiliate with the Teamsters union. 

This move is expected to bring new energy to the struggling organization, following their major victory at an Amazon warehouse two years ago.

Teamsters Board Approves Amazon Labor Union Affiliation

Over the union's general executive board meeting in Washington on Tuesday, Teamsters General President Sean M. O'Brien revealed the affiliation, as stated in a post on X.

If approved, the members of the Amazon Labor Union, who are part of a warehouse in Staten Island, New York City, will become part of the Teamsters as an independent local union. 

They will have the same rights and responsibilities as any other chapter, as outlined in the agreement.

The Teamsters have announced that their board has unanimously approved the affiliation, a significant step towards their goal of unionizing Amazon's non-corporate workforce, Bloomberg reported.

Chris Smalls, the President of the Amazon Labor Union, announced in a post on X that the labor group is joining forces with a formidable union to collectively challenge Amazon.

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Partnership Faces Criticism from Reform Group

Partnering with the Teamsters, a prominent labor union in the U.S., could provide the ALU with added influence to initiate negotiations with Amazon. 

The decision has already faced criticism from the ALU Democratic Reform Caucus, the group that took legal action against the ALU last year. 

According to Arthur Schwartz, an attorney for the caucus, there seems to be some uncertainty regarding how the ALU will conduct a membership vote to approve the Teamsters affiliation. This is because they do not have a list of employees or a membership list.

In March, members of ALU decided to conduct an election to select new union officers. Smalls has announced that he does not intend to seek reelection as ALU president. 

According to CNBC, the election is anticipated to take place in July, with an in-person format outside of JFK8, according to Schwartz.

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