by Jim McMahan, published on Workers World, December 4, 2020
On Nov. 27, “Black Friday,” workers rallied in front of Amazon world headquarters in Seattle to condemn Amazon’s exploitation of essential workers. Chris Smalls and The Congress of Essential Workers (TCOEW) led the Seattle action. Smalls was fired March 30 by Amazon for leading a work stoppage in New York to protest Amazon’s failure to provide COVID protections.
The Seattle rally and march were part of a global day of protest, with demonstrations and work stoppages held at Amazon workplaces. These actions focused on Amazon’s neglect of essential workers laboring on 10- and 12-hour shifts, during the galloping COVID-19 pandemic. Over 20,000 Amazon frontline workers have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos, is now worth $204 billion, due to the sweat and blood of Amazon’s world workforce.
Speakers at the rally declared their solidarity with the organizing drive of Alabama Amazon warehouse workers, who have now filed for a union election. One former Amazon worker called for a union of all Amazon workers.
The demonstrators marched across Amazon’s “world campus” to the company’s giant spheres. The TCOEW and supporters will march on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ mansion in the ruling class town of Medina, Wash., on Nov. 30.