Lessons for Organizing: Amazon and Beyond ft. Jonathan Rosenblum

In this episode, two of our Socialist Project comrades (Matt Davis and Tori Fleming) interview Jonathan Rosenblum for a discussion about labour organizing strategies, Amazon, and the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

In 2020, Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama, voted on whether to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). The union lost the vote, due in part to the hiring of the infamous union-busting agency the Pinkertons, and an extensive and intrusive anti-unionization campaign. The US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) first found enough evidence of Amazon’s interference at Bessemer to call for a re-vote and, in December 2021, reached an agreement with Amazon about ensuring that Amazon workers’ basic rights to organize are upheld by the company. Both of these verdicts have aided the growing narrative that a pro-union shift has taken place within the United States government with President Joe Biden and the Democratic party at the helm of this ostensibly progressive reorientation. But are these rulings as pro-worker as they seem?

Transcripts of this episode can be found at the following links:

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Jonathan Rosenblum is a Seattle-based union and community organizer, and the author of Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists, and the Revival of the Labor Movement (Beacon Press, 2017). He works as a community organizer for Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant. More about him can be found at jonathanrosenblum.org and jonathanr4212.medium.com.