Forty Years Later, Looking Back at the First All India General Strike of 1982

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), along with the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and All India Agricultural Workers Unions (AIAWU), has given a joint call to observe Wednesday as ‘Kisan-Mazdoor Ekta Diwas’, celebrating the date, January 19, to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1982 all-India one-day general strike. The day holds great significance in the history of the country’s trade union movement, for it marked in 1982, arguably for the first time in independent India, the peasantry and the rural-urban workforce’s coming together in a joint action to protest against the economic policies of the Central government. And, as such, every year, sectoral federations active in coal, steel, insurance and telecom sectors, among others, hold a convention on this day, while demonstrations and rallies are carried out at district levels across the country, in a bid to highlight the importance of the workers-farmers’ alliance.

— source | 18 Jan 2022

Nullius in verba

Starbucks Workers in Buffalo building a Union

historic workers’ victory at the Elmwood Starbucks store in Buffalo, New York, where workers successfully voted to unionize last week, making them the first to do so among Starbucks’ 9,000 locations in the United States.

Workers cheered as the results of their vote were announced. Nineteen workers voted in favor, eight against, forming the union. A union vote failed at a second Buffalo Starbucks location, and a third election at the Buffalo airport Starbucks has not yet been confirmed after nearly half the “yes” votes were challenged. The National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB, will now review those votes. The victory in Buffalo came despite Starbucks’ union-busting efforts and could trigger similar drives at more of its stores across the country. Already, on Monday, workers at two Massachusetts Starbucks, in Boston and Brookline, filed paperwork with the NLRB petitioning to unionize.

And I think, like you’re saying, it’s important we won our union, thank goodness. And the Genesee store, which was actually packed with people who don’t even vote at that store, to try to inflate the voter list, we’re confident that they’re going to also be the other of the first unionized Starbucks. But it shouldn’t have had — we shouldn’t have had to go through all of the union busting that we’ve gone through in the past four months.

Starbucks sent in a SWAT team, they called

— source | Dec 14, 2021

Nullius in verba

Amazon Workers in Alabama Get New Shot at Union

On Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, the day after Thanksgiving, Amazon employees worldwide joined in a strike that targeted the trillion-dollar company and its founder, billionaire Jeff Bezos, under the banner “Make Amazon Pay.” They called for the retail giant to raise wages, pay its taxes in full and stop its surveillance of workers.

This comes as workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, may soon get another chance to decide whether to unionize. The National Labor Relations Board has ordered a new election after it ruled Amazon had interfered in the first election in part by pressuring the U.S. Postal Service to install a mailbox outside the warehouse one day before the voting was set to begin. Amazon managers then pressured workers to drop their ballots in the new collection box, casting doubt over the secrecy of the election. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union is leading the organizing campaign in Bessemer. RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement the new ruling “confirms what we were saying all along—that Amazon’s intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union in their workplace.”

— source | Dec 01, 2021

Nullius in verba

Decades of Black Radical Labor Activism in Alabama

Now, in terms of Bessemer, Bessemer basically is part of Greater Birmingham, so it’s hard to separate the two. These were industrial sections of a state that actually has long and continue to have the largest unionization rate of any Southern state. Now, one of the things that we — we make this mistake of thinking the South as, like, backwards, as conservative, but the South has been the epicenter of the country’s most radical democratic movements, which is why it’s completely, you know, unsurprising that Bessemer, Alabama, would be the place where you would have a kind of renewed labor movement, where the fight against the largest corporation would begin, because the South is where you have long struggles, not just in Alabama, but waterfront workers in New Orleans and Charleston, workers in the rural areas. But in Bessemer, in particular, this is really the home of the International Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union, which was formed in part with the help of the Communist Party.

And I want to really emphasize that what makes the history of Alabama unionization important was the role of the left. You know, the fact is, the reason why we have anti-labor legislation, we have violence against labor in Alabama, what appears to be conservatives, the reason we have Jim Crow and the disenfranchisement of Black people, the most draconian anti-immigration laws, is precisely because those who rule the South know the potential of an interracial labor movement,

— source | Mar 29, 2021

Nullius in verba

Warehouse Workers in Alabama Fight Amazon for the Right to Unionize

Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama, are continuing to vote on whether to become the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the United States. Their demands include stronger COVID-19 safety measures and relief from impossibly high productivity standards that leave many unable to take bathroom breaks. “We want to be heard. We want to be treated like people and not ignored when we have issues,” says Jennifer Bates, a worker at Amazon’s BHM1 facility who has been part of the union drive from the beginning.

— source | Feb 17, 2021

Boycott Amazon. Buy from small shops.

Nullius in verba