Worker power begins with powerful ideas. That’s why we created our quarterly newsletter: Two Weeks Notice. Each edition will keep you up to date on the ideas shaping the current climate for workers. Stay up to date on the strategies and tactics being used by laborers to win victories across the country. The balance of power has favored employers for too long. By sharing our stories and learning from one another we can take back power.
Unemployed Workers United and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor released a report in 2021 about the impact of working conditions in these delivery stations in Los Angeles County. While Amazon is widely criticized for its employment practices —poor working conditions, high turnover, low pay, poor benefits—the company’s record on health and safety is especially poor. In California, Amazon fulfillment operations have become more visible across the Southern region, primarily due to the growth of Amazon delivery stations. Amazon continues to enjoy record-breaking profits while warehouse workers are getting hurt. Several reports and investigative articles have exposed the dangerous working conditions that Amazon creates for their warehouse and logistics workers.
I am Andraneice Dorsey, a worker leader and organizer with Unemployed Workers United, here to give you the State of Our Workers' address.
Since the inception of Unemployed Workers United, we’ve sought to organize Unemployed, Underemployed, and workers in precarious working conditions that were being greatly impacted by the health and economic crisis that COVID further exposed.
Since 2020, we’ve engaged over 160,000 workers in partnership with national and local organizations in the Southeast and Southwest regions of the country. Along the way, we have learned that most of them lost their income during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some are still waiting for their pandemic unemployment insurance benefits, while others were unfairly denied regular unemployment and federal pandemic unemployment compensation (FPUC) because their Governors arbitrarily ended FPUC in the summer of 2021.
On October 12, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a memo: ”Worksite Enforcement: The Strategy to Protect the American Labor Market, the Conditions of the American Worksite, and the Dignity of the Individual." This DHS memo signaled a stern shift under the Biden administration from Trump’s outlook on immigrant workers. In short, the memo ends worksite raids on immigrant workers and creates a system to protect them instead of criminalizing and deporting them. Black and Brown workers must work together to have equal opportunity to resist systemic oppression and exploitation. For far too long, bosses have pinned us against each other to the benefit of their own pockets.
Join this cause to build worker power by joining our Better For All campaign today: https://betterforall.works/.
With COVID-19 deemed over, 26 states canceled their pandemic unemployment benefits. We wanted to hear directly from the unemployed workers who bore the weight of this decision. We asked workers to share their stories as they navigate bills, mental health, and the end of pandemic unemployment benefits. Here are a few responses: