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Rex Evans, an Amazon worker at KSBD, the company's air hub facility in San Bernardino, Calif., and a member of the Inland Empire Amazon Workers United organizing committee, said: "We got this raise because workers have been organizing for what we deserve, but clearly Amazon can do much better. While Amazon executives make millions, we still have to choose between paying our bills and buying food. Amazon is clearly scared of worker power, and we are going to keep fighting to be paid fairly and treated with respect."
The wage announcement follows a summer of shopfloor actions, petitions, rallies, picket lines, and unfair labor practice strikes by workers at the company. Tom Culver, a driver at Amazon's DAX8 delivery station in Palmdale, Calif., where workers have been on strike over unfair labor practices since June 24th said: "Amazon workers across the country are organizing for the good jobs we deserve. Amazon won't buy us off with peanuts. When you hear $440 million in pay increases it might sound like a lot but we can do the math. That's just 0.09 percent of Amazon's total revenue and it only works out to 75 cents per hour for drivers."
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UPS Teamsters organized a national strike threat this year and forced the company to raise minimum warehouse wages by $5.50 an hour. All UPS Teamsters won a contract with first-year raises of at least $2.75 per hour and average top pay for Teamster drivers growing to $49 per hour. Bill Aiman who works at UPS and is a member of Teamsters Local 728 in Atlanta said: "My co-workers and I just overwhelmingly ratified the best contract in our industry with more money benefits and protections. Amazon's revenue is five times higher than UPS so there's no reason why Amazon workers should not receive their fair share as well."
After workers took action at a number of facilities nationwide and filed charges at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Amazon was recently forced to change its Unpaid Time (UPT) policy which had previously deducted a full hour of accrued UPT when workers were just a few minutes late for work. Now UPT will only be deducted in 15-minute increments and workers will earn UPT at double the previous rate; however these new policies still do not address the illegal nature of UPT or its effect on violating Section 7 rights according to Alicia Ozier an Amazon warehouse worker at DDT6 in Pontiac Mich.: "This shows that when we organize in our warehouses and unite across facilities Amazon has to listen to us...This win by workers is going to make a real difference but we need to keep pushing."
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The Teamsters Union which was founded in 1903 represents 1.2 million hardworking people in North America including those employed by UPS as well as those employed by Amazon who are fighting for their fair share of wages benefits and protections from their employer.
Filed Under: Business
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