The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has made history by successfully organizing Amazon drivers and dispatchers in Palmdale, California, marking the first time such a union has been established among Amazon workers.
This achievement is the result of efforts to secure better wages, improved working conditions, and more respect from Amazon. Randy Korgan, Director of the Teamsters Amazon Division, has noted that the union is working with Amazon workers across the country, as well as with the union’s 1.2 million members, to ensure that Amazon provides the benefits and protections that working people deserve.
Victor Mineros, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 396, also praised the Amazon workers who have organized to demand dignity and respect at work, calling them courageous and expressing confidence that their efforts will inspire other Amazon workers nationwide to unionize with the Teamsters.
The 84 Amazon workers in Palmdale won neutrality and voluntary union recognition to join Local 396, and a tentative agreement negotiated by Local 396 and Joint Council 42 with Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner contains numerous workplace improvements, including immediate pay increases, hourly raises in the fall, health and safety standards, a grievance procedure, and other benefits. The workers will vote on the agreement in the coming weeks.
Amazon workers in Palmdale marched on the company on April 24 to demand respect for their right to a union and for Amazon to honor the conditions of the agreement with their Delivery Service Partner. Rajpal Singh, an Amazon driver in Palmdale, has noted that he and his coworkers organized with the Teamsters to change their working conditions for the better, including securing fair pay, safe jobs, and protection from extreme heat conditions.
They have collectively petitioned Amazon on these issues, and Singh is hopeful that their union will give them the leverage needed to be heard.