Portland Rising’s April meeting
Join Portland Rising and members of the Amazon Worker Organizing Committee for a discussion of the challenges and possibilities of worker organizing at Amazon, with a focus on Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama and Troutdale, Oregon facilities.
April 28, 7-8:30
In the first NLRB election at an Amazon facility, some 2500 Bessemer Amazon warehouse workers recently voted by mail not to unionize with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, an affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Amazon had aggressively opposed the organizing drive, employing a variety of tactics to undermine worker support for unionization. The vote was a clear setback, but important organizing at Amazon is still on going, including by members of Amazonians United, a network of activists working at a number of Amazon warehouses.
Workers at the Troutdale Amazon facility have also been organizing, for the right to a safe workplace and a union. There have been more than two hundred reported Covid-19 cases at the facility, making it one of the largest covid infection locations in the state. Even before the pandemic, the Troutdale warehouse was one of Amazon’s most dangerous in terms of injuries per worker. And now, Amazon is forcing its workers to sign non-disclosure agreements in an attempt to restrict worker reporting.
There is a lot for us to discuss, including lessons to be learned from the Bessemer experience and ways to support and deepen the movement for worker rights.
To join the conversation, write email@example.com for the zoom log-in.
— Why Unions Matter campaign and Why Unions Matter on-line library (which has short, thoughtful articles that illustrate why unions matter to working people, discuss and evaluate past and present organizing strategies, and highlight current threats to unions.)
— Labor Movies Library Portland Rising maintains a library of labor movies which are online and can be watched for free.
— Working: A Photo Series Portland Rising is collecting working people’s photos of their work. Everyone who works has a workplace and work “tools.” Your own workplace is a familiar site, but often hidden to anyone but your coworkers or yourself. We want to turn what might be a solitary experience – what it’s like at your workplace – into a collective one. Photos will be curated and those chosen for viewing will be posted on the Portland Jobs with Justice’s website. Please submit your photos!
— Labor film series. Portland Rising hosts bimonthly online showings of labor films selected from our online Labor Movies Library
— Public programs (which aim to encourage collective reflection and strategic thinking); past events include:
Portland Rising began as a project of Jobs with Justice and made its debut on April 16th, 2011 with a huge rally joining a variety of union and community campaigns under the broad theme of Good Jobs, No Cuts. In the following months, Jobs with Justice, unions, community groups, and activists continued to pull campaigns together in a number of large and energetic Portland Rising actions, including two bus tours. We built a new level of solidarity from planning campaigns and actions together under the banner of Good Jobs, No Cuts.
In September 2012, we brought labor and community leaders together for a frank conversation about the trends that systematically affect all of us: the decline in real wages, unacceptably high unemployment, a growing precariousness in work relations, the privatization of and cuts to services, and the globalization of production. We agreed that corporations have benefited from these trends and that our political leaders have generally promoted policies that have encouraged them.
We also agreed that conditions will continue to worsen for growing numbers of Americans unless we were able to articulate and build support for a positive vision of change. That conversation produced consensus around a starting point that included the following interrelated demands: good jobs for all, a strong and accountable public sector serving human needs, and healthy cities and communities.
To advance these demands, Portland Rising formed as an ongoing committee of Jobs with Justice with the aim of joining with representatives and activists from unions, community groups, and others, in a process of strategic campaign planning, action, reflection, and education. More specifically, we seek to engage with as well as promote campaigns that:
If you would like to get involved with the JwJ Portland Rising Committee please contact us by submitting the form below.