How did Amazon workers win so big? And just how does Corporate America plan to take back power?

By Robert Reich, LA Progressive

Yesterday was a big day for American workers. I want to start with the remarkable worker victory at Amazon’s giant warehouse on Staten Island and then move to yesterday’s great jobs report — and the real danger lying within it.

First, the victory. America’s wealthiest, most powerful, and fiercest anti-union corporation — with the second-largest workforce in the nation (union-busting Walmart being the largest) — lost out to a group of warehouse workers who voted to form a union, by a remarkable 2,654 to 2,131. Even more remarkably, the workers won without any assistance from an established union or professional organizer.

Amazon's Staten Island warehouse workers file petition for union election.

If anyone had any doubts about Amazon’s determination to prevent this from ever happening, the corporation’s scorched-earth anti-union campaign in its Bessemer, Alabama warehouse should have put those doubts to rest. In New York, Amazon used every tool it had used in Bessemer, and then some. Many of its techniques are illegal under the National Labor Relations Act (hence the decision of the National Labor Relations Board to hold another election in Bessemer), but Amazon couldn’t care less. It’s rich enough to pay any fine or bear any public relations hit.

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