A Letter from Labor Leaders to Amazon

The following open letter was emailed to Amazon on July 11, 2019.

 

Dear Messrs. Schoettler, Hogan, and Carney:

Congratulations on your recent decision to bring in a responsible contractor for security services at Amazon. This move has the potential to put hundreds of security officers on your campus on a path to success. We applaud you for recognizing the importance of good union jobs in lifting up individuals, families, and communities.

Our community put tremendous effort into supporting security officers who spoke out against unfair treatment under your outgoing security provider. It took a coalition of labor, faith leaders, community leaders, and elected officials to bring these stories to your attention.

We will not forget officers like Christina Stafford, who was sexually harassed at work and blamed for it by management. Or Essag Hassan, who was fired after requesting an adequate place to pray. These workers and countless others spoke out because they wanted to keep other workers from suffering the same fate.

Now it is our mission to support the security officers who are taking this opportunity to secure their union rights as they transfer to their new employer. Officers like Issa Abdulkadir are organizing to break through the culture of division and intimidation that has prevailed under SIS.

As Abdulkadir said to his coworkers, “Security officers at Amazon have been afraid for so long. We need to stop all the fear. We need to be brave enough to speak to each other and create a team that believes in us.” We will stand by Abdulkadir and his coworkers to ensure a smooth transition and an uncomplicated recognition of these officers’ union.

We expect that fair treatment and having a voice on the job for these hundreds of security officers will go far in reducing inequality among workers in South Lake Union. We want to see this as a turning point, when Amazon makes good union jobs the standard for its low-wage, contracted workforce, and makes listening to the voices of workers a practice that can uplift us all.

Sincerely,

Zenia Javalera
President, SEIU6 Property Services NW

Meg Niemi
President, SEIU Local 49

Sterling Harders
President, SEIU 775

Diane Sosne
President, SEIU 199NW

Karen Hart
President, SEIU 925

Faye Guenther
President, UFCW21

Erik Van Rossum
President, Unite Here 8

April Sims
Secretary-Treasurer, Washington State Labor Council

Nicole Grant
Secretary-Treasurer, MLK Labor

John Scearcy
Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters 117

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