Workers at JFK8 facility in Staten Island are once again a shining example of much needed labor militancy. Just hours after a fire broke out Monday at the facility, Amazon workers represented by Amazon Labor Union (ALU) held a sit-down strike inside the break room after Amazon tried to force them back to work amid lingering smoke, toxic fumes, and flooding inside the warehouse.
Earlier today ALU released a statement saying, “Night Shift Workers protested against abnormally dangerous working conditions by engaging in spontaneous, legally-protected collective action over health and safety concerns related to a fire inside a trash compactor…” the statement went on to say, “Workers complained of toxic fumes as they were told to get back to work.”
Union leadership shared several videos online showing workers bravely standing up to the irresponsible bosses trying to force them back to work before it was safe to do so. Videos showed organizers leading hundreds of workers in a march to the HR office demanding to be sent home with pay (like day shift workers were) due to unsafe working conditions. In ALU’s statement they said, “over 650 employees participated in the work stoppage which lasted almost three hours.” The union’s statement also included a list of demands you can see below.
There have been reports that workers have complained about smoke coming from the compactor that was set ablaze for over a month. Amazon’s refusal to maintain a quality work environment is the embodiment of the bosses notion of profit above all else. That is why workers must band together to fight against the corrupt bosses that control too much of our lives.