Amazon Announces Minimum Wage Scam

From the USW

Activists around the country applauded Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos for announcing their plan this week to raise the minimum wage of all employees to $15 an hour. At first glance, celebrations were in fact appropriate. The company is now worth $1 trillion, as of September 2018, yet they’ve been paying their workers pennies in comparison. For several years now, labor activists, led by Sen. Bernie Sanders, have been calling upon the online retail giant to do the right thing and raise their minimum wage.

However, the way Bezos plans to pay for these raises has come to light, and there is no applauding to follow.

According to Bloomberg News, Amazon, which employs 575,000 people worldwide, is eliminating monthly bonuses and stock awards for warehouse workers and other hourly employees. And what many people don’t realize is a large chunk of the Seattle-based company’s workers, including their delivery drivers, are contracted out, meaning they will not benefit at all from the supposed raises as they are not “employees.”

It appears this announcement was merely a ruse for Amazon to give itself a pat on the back, not a genuine commitment to pay people a real living wage. Instead of sharing his mass wealth built for him by his workers, Bezos chose to steal from one group of them merely for show.

This sick display of corporate greed shows why activists must continue to fight for a national living wage and unions to protect workers from this kind of back door theft. Corporations will not do this on their own, because even when they do, they don’t.

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Posted In: Union Matters

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work