“The win comes despite Amazon’s long history of union-busting in the 28 years since Jeff Bezos founded the company in 1994 as an online seller of books. Since then, Amazon leaders have spent considerable time and money to beat back this union drive and others. Perhaps as stunning, the union victory comes during the first-ever organizing drive by this particular union, which was created just last year by former warehouse worker Chris Smalls, who Amazon fired after he led a protest outside the warehouse in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. ” America finally gets an Amazon union. Public reaction: Finally! Power to the people! Private reaction: I mean, my air fryer delivery isn’t gonna be delayed, right?

+ “In leaked notes for which he voiced regret later, David Zapolsky, Amazon’s general counsel, called Smalls ‘not smart, or articulate’ and suggested the company ‘make him the face of the entire union/organizing movement.’ And that’s what happened.” Amazon union leader Smalls went from rapper to unlikely voice of protest.