Will Amazon Warehouse Workers Really Strike in the Hudson Valley?
Amazon employees in the Hudson Valley took steps this week to protest what they describe as "low wages and dangerous work conditions" at the SWF1 warehouse in Orange County, NY... but will workers really strike?
On Monday, November 27th, otherwise known as Cyber Monday, warehouse workers staged a "practice picket" at the massive facility on Industrial Blvd in Rock Tavern, NY. It was a tactic similar to the one used by UPS drivers to navigate negotiations for their recent nationally-covered raises.
Practice Picket at Hudson Valley, NY Amazon Warehouse
“We are fed up with Amazon putting its packages ahead of our safety,” said a local Amazon warehouse employee in a recent press release. “We are rallying and practice picketing today to show Amazon that we are the ones who make this company so valuable and we deserve respect.” But what exactly is a "practice picket"?
What is a "Practice Picket"?
Practice picketing, a technique promoted by Teamsters, is a way to show employee willingness to actually strike. While there are picket lines in a practice picket, workers still show up for their regularly scheduled shifts. Only a true strike means that workers would walk out of the warehouse and refuse to work. From the Teamsters guide:
A practice picket should be used as an opportunity to educate the [union] members around you... The goal of a practice picket is to inform people and build public awareness. This is not the same as a strike line.
Hudson Valley, NY Amazon Warehouse Employees Threaten Strike
A practice picket was one of the techniques used by UPS workers in their recent (and successful) bid for a renegotiated contract. Hudson Valley Amazon warehouse workers hope they will see a similar outcome before they declare an actual labor strike.
Demands from Hudson Valley, NY Amazon Warehouse Workers
Workers have several demands, including "significant raises, slower conveyor belts, and equal treatment for promotions" at the Orange County, NY warehouse facility. Amazon has yet to publicly respond to the recent practice picket. Check out the history of one of the biggest companies in the world below, and keep scrolling to take a peek inside one of their US warehouses.
Inside Amazon: A Detailed History of America's Biggest Online Retailer
Gallery Credit: Andrew Lisa
See What Colorado’s Amazon Warehouses Look Like on the Inside
Gallery Credit: Nate Wilde