Fighting for a Voice

Oregon AFL-CIO Weekly Update: Fighting for a Voice
December 12, 2018

Fighting for A Voice at Amazon

Warehouse workers at Amazon are fighting for a union at the company’s Staten Island ‘fulfillment center,’ and went public with their organizing campaign this week.

Image via

As reported yesterday in Bloomberg, workers are fed up with insufficient safety protections, inadequate pay, and a growing list of unreasonable demands from management:

Employees backing the union effort said in interviews Tuesday that the issues at the warehouse include safety concerns, inadequate pay, and 12-hour shifts with insufficient breaks and unreasonable hourly quotas, after which they lose more of their day waiting unpaid in long lines for security checks.

"They talk to you like you’re nothing -- all they care about is their numbers," said Rashad Long, who makes $18.60 an hour and commutes four hours a day to work at the warehouse. "They talk to you like you’re a robot."

Hawthorne Burgerville in Portland Officially Goes Union!

The Burgerville Workers Union is growing: Workers at the Hawthorne location in Portland voted to form their union and by doing so became the third union Burgerville location. Congratulations!

Image via Burgerville Workers Union Facebook Page

Click here to learn more about the vote and to find information about a celebration and picket next week in Portland to support the largest fast food workers’ union in United States history.

Buy Union-Made Gifts This Holiday Season

Did you know that Americans are planning to spend nearly $720 billion dollars this holiday season? It's not too late to find that perfect holiday gift that carries a union label and is made in America. This year make your holiday spending count by supporting union-represented workers in the United States. From clothing and shoes to games and sporting equipment, we’ve got you covered with a list of gifts. Click here to take a look.

And click here for a friendly reminder from United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 to be respectful of retail workers during the most stressful shopping time of the year. Retail workers ALWAYS deserve respect!

The Economic Rights of Working People

Seventy years ago this week, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Translated into more than 500 languages, it recognized that “the inherent dignity and...equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

Article 23 of the declaration lays out the economic rights of working people, including:

  • The right to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
  • The right to equal pay for equal work without discrimination.
  • The right to just and favorable wages that ensure human dignity—supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
  • The right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of one’s interests.

The working people of the labor movement have organized, marched and fought toward securing those rights as a universal reality. In the face of a corporate right-wing campaign to destroy these fundamental freedoms, the Oregon AFL-CIO and unions across the country are carrying on the work of defending the rights and dignities of working people on the job.