I take offense to the solidarity of Jeff Bezos with Black lives. When so many of his warehouse workers and drivers are Black, that is by design. When we are told that if we defend ourselves on the road, if we are attacked, we will be fired; when women can’t use pepper spray; when a customer’s smile outranks my safety; that is not solidarity! Just the fact that we are referred to as unskilled workers demonstrates a lack of solidarity.
He pays us so little out here that we work two to three jobs while we sleep in our cars, under underpasses, and are in constant debt. The time has come to stop allowing dynasties to be built off the workhorse slave labor of Black bodies. Jeff Bezos will say, “If you ask my competitors, you’ll find that $15 an hour is competitive.” When $100,000 a year is considered low income in the Bay Area, I call bullshit on your $15 an hour.
That sounds like price fixing, and price fixing is illegal. What we know now is that scientists have deemed poverty a pre-existing condition. Leaving the population, our population, more susceptible to death during this COVID crisis. It’s the equivalent of us coming to work every day and having our managers blow cigarette smoke in our faces for eight hours a day.
But also, if money is mobility, then keeping 500,000 employees on the brink of ruin every month means that not only can we not move left or right, but we can never move up. I’m here today, to say that one way or another we are going to break these proverbial chains. I am a founding member of the Bay Area Amazonians.
We are here to organize my warehouse. We hope to be like the ILWU when we grow up. We call on all politicians who have been asleep at the wheel for the past thirty years to do their jobs, and start enforcing white collar crimes like anti-trust laws and safety violations as harshly as our government cracks down on fake $20 bills.
Thank you. Power to all people!