Monday, November 20, 2023 – Drivers at Amazon’s DXH5 warehouse in Chicago staged a protest, exposing the company’s unfavorable working conditions. This demonstration marks the latest instance of a four-month-long strike led by drivers at Amazon’s DAX8 station in Palmdale, California, extending to warehouses across the country.
Heath Lopez, a member of Teamsters Local 396 and an Amazon driver in Palmdale, expressed his dissatisfaction: “We all live from paycheck to paycheck. We have to deal with unsafe vans, aggressive dogs, and exhausting workloads, but Amazon only cares if the package gets delivered.” The protest has expanded to new warehouses, garnering more workers for the cause.
The struggle will persist until Amazon takes responsibility for the working conditions.
Amazon drivers and dispatchers initiated their strike on June 24, spanning 25 warehouses nationwide. From California to New Jersey, they have picketed, challenging Amazon’s exploitative business model and labor violations.
Victor Mineros, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 396 in Los Angeles, stated: “These workers are directly challenging Amazon’s exploitative business model and its law violations that are lowering standards throughout our industry.” Backed by over a million Teamsters members, these workers seek to improve their working conditions.
In April, 84 workers in Palmdale unionized with Teamsters, becoming the first Amazon drivers’ union in the country. Despite a negotiated contract with Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner (DSP), Battle-Tested Strategies (BTS), Amazon refuses to recognize it. The company has engaged in unfair labor practices, including the termination of the newly organized worker unit.
The Amazon drivers’ protest will continue until the company corrects its unfair labor practices, reinstates Palmdale employees, recognizes the Teamsters union, and respects the negotiated contract. Drivers aim to negotiate with Teamsters to address low wages and hazardous working conditions.
Amazon drivers in Palmdale joined Teamsters to ensure their safety in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The Teamsters contract secures workers’ rights to drive safe equipment and refuse unsafe deliveries. Implementing these protections will require a comprehensive review of Amazon’s labor practices.