Amazon workers win with solidarity

April 5, 2022

The historic victory of Amazon Labor Union workers in Staten Island, New York – announced on April 1 – is now news worldwide. Their win is being celebrated in the mainstream press as an astounding defeat of corporate Goliath by an unknown and puny David.

But no deity-enhanced hero beat the second biggest corporation in the world. The workers won through worker power, worker organizing, worker knowledge and ingenuity – and worker solidarity, solidarity, solidarity.

As Angelika Maldonado, chair of ALU’s Workers Committee, said: “Everybody was talking to everybody!” (Jacobin, April 2)

Before the victory, capitalist commentators dismissed ALU power and the company tried to discredit ALU President Chris Smalls with racist smears. Amazon poured anti-union lies like rat poison into the Staten Island warehouses. Roaming “consultants” intimidated workers and managers trumpeted fear in “captive audience meetings” of workers.

In 2021 Amazon spent around $4.3 million on companies and law firms who specialize in “union avoidance” – i.e., union-busting. Some consultants were paid $3,200 an hour!  (, April 1)

The average hourly wage for an Amazon warehouse worker or delivery driver is $15-16 an hour. (

The company’s millions were soundly defeated by tenacious, imaginative and unrelenting worker “deep organizing.” The union grew in strength as the 20-person Workers Committee identified and mentored others to become organizers. Every worker who wanted to be an organizer could be an organizer. Those new organizers talked indefatigably to others, most effectively within their nationality, community or language groups.

ALU received organizational support from established unions and left, socialist and communist groups. Workers World Party is proud to say it supported the ALU from Day One. (See “Interview: Amazon worker battles billionaire Bezos,” Workers World, April 7, 2020)

The result? Victory. And now that there has been undeniable victory, what is the response of the capitalist class?

There were hand-wringing diatribes that listed the terrible things that will happen. Jim Cramer of CNBC “Squawk on the Street” said: “The unions will be in charge of the time that you need to work, and that would be dreadful! One reason why Amazon works so well is that people must work when Amazon says you must work.” (