Fired Amazon union organizer: “We’re not able to feed ourselves”

Amazon is fighting to crush a burgeoning union wave, which had its first victory at the JFK8 warehouse on Staten Island, NY, earlier this year. In recent months, pro-union Amazon workers have found themselves the target of suspected retaliation by management at their work sites. Albert Elliott, a former Amazon employee and organizer with the rank-and-file group Carolina Amazonians United for Solidarity and Empowerment (CAUSE), is the latest worker-organizer to be terminated in an act of suspected retaliation. CAUSE began organizing workers at Amazon facilities in North Carolina earlier this year, including the RDU1 distribution center, where Elliott worked for two years as part of a 4,000-strong workforce. CAUSE organizers say workers are forced to endure brutally long shifts in sweltering facilities under constant surveillance by managers. Workers regularly struggle to make ends meet on their $15 hourly wages, and some have even been driven to attempt suicide. Real News editor-in-chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Elliott to learn more about conditions in Amazon’s North Carolina facilities, and the suspicious circumstances of his firing.

You can support CAUSE’s organizing efforts by donating to their GoFundMe

Studio/Post-Production: Dwayne Gladden


TRANSCRIPT

This transcript will be made available as soon as possible.

Maximillian Alvarez

Editor-in-Chief

Ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a warehouse temp in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually, we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the life-saving importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars, and reminding one another that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the podcast Working People—where I interview workers about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles—to working as Associate Editor at the Chronicle Review and now as Editor-in-Chief at The Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to lifting up the voices and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.
 
Email: max@therealnews.com
 
Follow: @maximillian_alv