Amazon workers at Hebron, Kentucky celebrate a victory!

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Amazon workers at the air hub in Kentucky show their support for the ALU

Workers at an Amazon air hub in Hebron, Kentucky celebrated a victory on Thursday after the National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) found that Amazon violated labour law by trying to prevent workers there from joining the Amazon Labour Union (ALU).

The workers have been demanding higher pay, more flexible schedules and safer working conditions since 2022.
After a months-long investigation, the NLRB issued an order against Amazon last week which was then ratified.
Amazon claimed the NLRB’s board’s allegations are ‘without merit’.
Amazon workers at various sites around the country have been trying to unionise for years.
Many have accused Amazon of using illegal tactics to discourage workers from supporting unions – more than 240 such charges have been filed with the NLRB.
At a rally in Hebron on Thursday, Amazon employee Marcio Rodriguez and ALU member said he was ‘threatened with termination for his union organising activity along with 10 co-workers’.
Rodriguez added: ‘Amazon management would show up to where I was working out on the ramp in front of my co-workers in a truck and take me to the HR office.
‘This was just a way to try and intimidate me.
‘That’s why I’m standing up for our union. And I’ll continue to fight, especially now knowing that a federal investigation has found that Amazon broke the law.’
Amazon workers in Kentucky are seeking to form Amazon Labour Union, an independent but associated branch of the group that won a historic victory at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island in 2021.
Lawyers for the union there are still battling Amazon, which has yet to come to the bargaining table and continues to argue that the NLRB unfairly sided with workers during that election.
Amazon flies cargo planes out of multiple airports, including its own air hubs, but the $1.5 billion Kentucky hub is the centre of its air network, making it a prime target for labour actions.
Amazon is scheduled to appear at a hearing before labour regulators regarding its alleged anti-union activities in Kentucky on 22nd April.
Meanwhile, workers in the City of Charlottesville, Virginia’s Department of Public Works, Department of Public Utilities, Department of Parks and Recreation, Fire Department, and Office of Community Solutions have voted to join Teamsters Local 29.
Matt Martin, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 29 in Verona, Virginia said: ‘Local 29 is thrilled to welcome these essential workers.
‘The hard work and dedication of these men and women touches the lives of every person who lives, works, and visits Charlottesville.
‘The importance of their work must be rewarded with a strong union contract – and we look forward to getting them just that.’
Prior to May 2021, public sector workers in the Commonwealth of Virginia were not able to join a trade union.
In January 2024, Local 29 filed a petition with the City of Charlottesville’s Labour Relations Administrator to initiate an election.
Sherod Ward, a water service technician for the City of Charlottesville said: ‘I voted to join the Teamsters because I wanted a voice on the job and a fair contract.
‘We are proud to be part of the growing labour movement and are looking forward to getting our first Teamsters contract.’
On Wednesday, 13th March a group of 29 workers – ticketing and membership associates and guest services associates – in the admissions department at Woodland Park Zoo in Tukwila, Washington state voted unanimously to join Teamsters Local 117.
The admissions workers join over 100 Teamsters at the zoo already represented by Local 117, including animal keepers, educators, veterinary technicians, animal diet specialists, and warehousers.
Paul Dascher, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 117 said: ‘We are thrilled to welcome the zoo’s admissions workers to our union.
‘With over one million visitors every year, the zoo is one of Seattle’s top attractions for local residents, tourists, and families.
‘Our members work incredibly hard to make visits by the public memorable and educational.
‘All workers at the zoo deserve the power and respect of a Teamsters contract.
‘For four months leading up to the vote, admissions workers attended weekly meetings to discuss plans for a successful union campaign.
‘The admissions department is essential to guests’ experiences at the zoo.
‘Whether it is for zoo members or visitors, workers answer questions and fulfil accessibility requests for the public every day.’
Rachael Schumacher, a ticketing and membership associate who started working at the zoo five years ago said: ‘I see how hard we work to keep the zoo running with little to no acknowledgment.
‘It’s time my co-workers and I received the recognition and compensation we have long deserved.
‘We deserve representation, not only within our department, but within the entire zoo, and our only chance of that is by unionising.’

  • The United States has resumed flights of the deadly Osprey military aircraft, as the root cause of fatal crashes involving one in November 2023 in Japan remains unknown.

On Thursday, the US military resumed Osprey flights in Japan after a 3-month hiatus, sparking anger in the southern region of Okinawa, where most US forces are based.
The Okinawa governor, Denny Tamaki said the worried locals had not been given an adequate explanation about the resumption of Osprey flights.
Tamaki said on Wednesday: ‘We feel extreme anger that reports of flight resumption came before an explanation to locals.
‘The local government in Okinawa district, where most of the 54,000 US military personnel in Japan are based, has long been unhappy about Osprey operations.
‘We continue to demand the US military and the Japanese government not resume flights until they make clear the accident’s cause and countermeasures, and remove Ospreys.’
Okinawans’ suffering has continued since the 1945 Battle of Okinawa fought between the United States and Japan.
The US controlled the island for the next 27 years and now has military bases in Okinawa.
US military personnel have subjected local women to a storm of sexual violence with hundreds of reported cases.
The rape of a 12-year-old girl by three US service members in 1995 and the rape and murder of a 20-year-old woman by a Marine in 2016 caught the world’s attention.
The events triggered mass protests on the island, attended by tens of thousands of Okinawans demanding the revision of the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement, known as SOFA.
Just a year after the 2016 rape case, in August 2017, a US Marine seized a woman’s mobile phone and raped her in an alleyway.
Violence against women has been regarded as the most serious issue under the Japan-US Security Treaty.
Now, as the local population is concerned over the transport aircraft’s safety, the explanation by the governments of the US and Japan have only exasperated anxieties among people.
The Japanese Defence Ministry said: ‘We don’t know the root cause of the accident.
‘The details reportedly cannot yet be revealed because the US’ investigation is ongoing and there are limitations under US law until a report will be released.’
US forces have a fleet of over 470 Osprey transport aircraft.
A US Osprey crashed off Japan in November, killing all eight people on board and prompting the decision the following month to ground the aircraft worldwide.
A crash in northern Australia killed three US Marines in August 2023, and another in Norway in 2022 left four dead.
Three Marines were also killed in 2017 when another Osprey crashed off Australia’s north coast and 19 Marines died when their Osprey crashed during drills in Arizona in 2000.
The United States temporarily grounded the aircraft in Japan in 2016 after an Osprey crash-landed off Okinawa.