Employees of Amazon.com’s Iowa warehouse probably form an organization with organizers threatening a strike. The organizing director of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 238, Buzz Malone said that he has been recruiting workers to organize since November. He also said that the union is demanding from the company higher pay and less stringent rules, particularly regarding how fast warehouse employees and drivers have to work.
Employees Of Amazon.com’s Iowa Warehouse Are Organizing
Amazon quickly scaled up in the Des Moines metro and eastern Iowa last year. Also, Amazon opened a 1,000 employee fulfillment center in Bondurant in December. Malone hopes that the union will try to pressure the company with strikes and said, “Amazon has proven, time and again, that they have no respect for the workers’ right to organize under the National Labor Relations Board and the election process. Right now, the way we stand, we have no intention of putting Iowa’s workforce through that process”.
The union has turned the workers into a website, workersessential.org and they have to provide information to the questions asked in the survey. Reports show that about 100 Amazon employees in Iowa has verified and have filled out the survey by checking phone numbers and address they provided. Most of the workers and drivers of Iowa are contractors instead of Amazon employees. Many of them complained that Monitor, an app for tracking delivery drivers, forces them to drive too fast and forego bathroom breaks at the risk that they will be punished or laid off.
The company fights back to prevent it
The company appears to be doing everything it can prevent to form a union of workers. The first effort to create a union at an Amazon warehouse occurred in Alabama. The workers at the company’s warehouses say their jobs do not meet their expectations. Darryl Richardson supported this movement and said that he strongly supports the efforts to unionize the warehouse in Alabama which employs 5,800 workers. He also said that the job is very demanding and he started pushing to unionize in August, five months after the warehouse opened.
“I expected more opportunities for promotion and better safety than what the company offers. I also thought there would be more job security, but I believe Amazon has been letting people go for no reason”, he added. Richardson has to puck 315 items per hour and five items per minute at the warehouse, and workers who don’t meet their quotas are terminated without any warning or notice period.
Most of the employees at Amazon’s warehouse have easily supported and secured their signatures to organize a union. And the employees believe that if they win, then it would be a landmark victory for labor in a traditionally conservative state.