Harris to meet with Amazon, Starbucks organizers

Vice President Harris will meet with a collection of labor groups at the White House on Thursday, including representatives from the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) and Starbucks Workers United.

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will also be at the meeting featuring ALU President Christian Smalls and grassroot organizers from Starbucks/Service Employees International Union, United Paizo Workers/Communications Workers of America, Titmouse Productions/International Union of Theatrical Stage Employees, Baltimore Public Library/International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and REI/Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, a White House official told The Hill.

The officials and organizers will discuss “extraordinary efforts to organize unions in their workplaces, and how their efforts can inspire workers across the country to make the choice to join or organize a union.”

The ALU secured a historic victory last month when a Staten Island, N.Y., facility became the first Amazon location in the U.S. to vote to unionize. The group fell short at its second attempt to organize a facility in Staten Island, but has heard from workers at more than a hundred locations about starting their own campaigns.

Workers at over 50 Starbucks cafes have voted to join Starbucks Workers United since December, with only five locations so far electing against unionization.

President Biden has positioned his administration as one of the most pro-labor in decades, appointing aggressive enforcers and pushing for legislation to make joining a union easier.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has urged the president to go farther, calling on him to cut off federal contracts for Amazon as long as it continues to engage in anti-union activities.

As chair of the Senate Budget Committee, the Vermont lawmaker has scheduled a hearing Thursday about whether taxpayer dollars should be given to companies that violate labor laws.

Smalls, along with Teamsters President Sean O’Brien, Good Jobs First director Greg LeRoy and Thomas Costa, a Government Accountability Office official, are scheduled to testify at the hearing.

Tags ALU Amazon Labor Union Kamala Harris Kamala Harris Marty Walsh Marty Walsh New York Starbucks Workers United
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