Editor’s Note: Image shows workers boarding the bus outside JFK8 in Staten Island.
Recently, a faction within the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) emerged declaring themselves the “ALU Democratic Reform Caucus” and sued the union trying to force an early leadership election. This comes months after members of the caucus ran to the capitalist controlled media to complain about internal union business and targeted attacks against ALU leadership—most notably ALU President Christian Smalls and former Vice President Derrick Palmer—on the union’s Facebook page highjacked by the group which can only be called one thing—wreckers. Members of the group have been active on social media and doing interviews with the standard ultra-leftist media outlets.
While they have been out trying to turn their supposed “union democracy” campaign into a personal attack against ALU President Smalls, we at Labor Today have been reaching out to rank-and-file members to get their takes, and to no surprise, the “Reform” Caucus’ claims don’t add up. One rank-and-file member told us when we tried to corroborate their claims of organizing on the shop floor, “I don’t know what they’re doing, I haven’t seen them in months.” Another told us they, “give out bad leads and false information”. When asked to clarify, the answer given was shocking, “they haven’t given out details, they just want change”. In a follow-up I asked if this member was referring to the petition they claim to have 800 signatures on calling for elections that still has yet to be released. We got what should be a damning response, “ I don’t know about any election!”
To make matters worse, in response to Labor United Education League (LUEL) members defense of ALU, members of the caucus have responded by attacking Christian Smalls. One such member, Natalie Monarrez, responded using Red Scare McCarthyite attacks claiming Smalls “leads the union with an iron fist”. Ironically, she lead a “Vote No” campaign leading up to the election where ALU won representation, so it should be no surprise she’s attacking the union now.
LUEL and Labor Today continue our steadfast support ALU in their struggle. Its no surprise that these attacks have come after the ALU’s open relationship with the World Federation of Trade Unions, and their alignment with class-oriented trade unionism.