Yesterday, Amazon Labor Union President Christian Smalls was invited by Senator Bernie Sanders to testify before the Senate Budget Committee. As was to be expected, Senator Lindsey Graham went to bat for Amazon and corporate interests.
Smalls responded to Graham by saying, “it sounds like you were talking about more of the companies and the businesses in your speech, but you forgot that the people are the ones who make these companies operate and that we’re not protected.” You can watch the entire interaction here.
But what really caught our attention was when Christian Smalls, who was fired by Amazon for union organizing, said there wasn't enough being done to hold the union-busting industry and its clients (employers) accountable. Graham then interjected that that was just Smalls' "opinion." Once again, Smalls responded coolly: "that’s a fact."
Christian Smalls is obviously correct.
- It's estimated that less than 10% of union-busting activities get reported to the Department of Labor
- There are no serious financial penalties or repercussions for violating workers right to unionize (Section 7 of the NLRA)
- And when employees do win a union, the employers are allowed to delay good faith negotiations for years -- just like Amazon is doing now
It's no surprise that we agree with Christian Smalls. More has to be done to hold the union-busting industry accountable. That's why we've launched multiple tools to help the public track union-busting activities, including our Union-Busting Database, Union-Busting Tracker, and our watchdog blog The Steward.
All of this work is made possible because of Solidarity Sustainers, our monthly donors. If you aren't already, please chip-in $1, $5, or whatever you can afford and help us continue to empower workers and expose union-busting.