Solidarity Rally for Bessemer Alabama

By Guest Author Chris Smalls

For Immediate Release

On March 30, 2021 a coalition of organizations, unions, community leaders and activists will be rallying in front of JFK8 Amazon 546 Gulf Ave, Staten Island, NY. The rally will recognize the continued fight to unionize as results from Bessemer, Alabama will be in the process of counting here in NY we’re planning our efforts as well. On March 30th, 2020 Chris Smalls was fired for raising health and safety concerns after a walkout one year later we continue to have the same issues and more demands that the company refuses to address. The rally is to express the importance of unionizing so that workers don’t have to be subjected to retaliation what Chris Smalls and others have gone through. You will hear from current and former workers of JFK8 as well as Amazon workers from other locations, some traveling as far as Arizona. Guest speakers will be Dianne Morales, running for Mayor for NYC, Diana Florence running for District Attorney for Manhattan, Larry Holmes and Ted Kelly of Workers World Party/Workers Assembly Against Racism. The coalition supporters and endorsers include Laborers Local 79 Women’s Committee and Building Trades for Workers Democracy, LIUNA Local 78, December 12th Movement and Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. There will also be a vigil for Amazon employee Poushawn Brown, who recently died leaving behind her 12 year old daughter at 38 years old she was Covid tester at Amazon Facility in Virginia. Her sister Christina Brown will be in attendance with her daughter as well.

Start Time: 11am

Location: Rally point will be at the public S40 bus Stop directly adjacent to the front of JFK8, 546 Gulf Ave, Staten Island NY 10314.

Since March our demands as essential workers have increased ––These demands not only include Amazon current or former but demands of the unrest, unemployed, working class community in which we reside and include the following:

All employees to be retroactively paid for all unpaid time they have used from March until the facilities are safe for workers.

  • PPE and cleaning supplies to be provided at all times by the company.

  • Employees who receive a COVID-19 test are to be placed on paid leave until test results are confirmed, and not to return until they test negative for COVID-19 with 100% percent pay.

  • Buildings or locations that have positive cases are to be shut down, professionally sanitized, and remain closed for a minimum of 14 days with 100% percent pay for all affected employees.

  • Two dollar hourly Hazard pay increase, or sick time pay is to be provided during the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The company must be transparent and honest about the number of cases they have in their facilities.

  • Unlimited unpaid time network wide for the duration of the pandemic.

  • Reinstatement of all employees who have been terminated during the COVID-19 pandemic for refusing to work, protesting, or related reasons.

  • Employees that have lost their lives during the Pandemic Families to receive $200,000 in addition to the life insurance, paid directly by the company.

  • The 1-3% to pay Federal Wealth Taxes; money collected will be distributed to fund the urban communities and organizations that the Employers are invested in.

  • Jeff Bezos Network is 188 billion dollars and is trending to be the world's first Trillionaire, with over a million employees worldwide, yet pays his employees a minimum wage $15.50 hour, which is insufficient to the amount of value a worker really deserves.

  • We demand all hourly associates minimum wage should begin at $30 dollars.

  • We demand all employees to become shareholders upon employment and receive annual investments in the company.

  • Free Childcare and Healthcare to be provided by the company.

  • All full time employees receive one hour lunch.

  • No wage cap and monthly bonuses for productivity or sweat equity (attendance).

  • Money generated from the Wealth Tax is to be distributed not only to fund but support global crises like Climate control, Homelessness, and Pandemics.

  • Public housing, unemployment, the medical fields teachers unions, workers unions, or community organizations should also qualify to receive funds from the Wealth Tax.

  • We also demand that workers have the right to unionize and sign employee/employer contracts that are renewed annually so that our demands are met, negotiated and upheld by all parties involved.

The objective of the Wealth Tax is to create resources and generational wealth for the

working class people. It is the people who’ve built our communities, as well as the revenue for companies like Amazon, a Tril-lion dollar e-commerce off of our backs. We deserve better and demand to have our voices collectively heard, and stand with those who stand with us in solidarity, with our actions that being oppressed by fear is no alternative. On behalf of T.C.O.E.W. The Congress of Essential Workers and others we fully endorse.