“We can change the service industry.”
Starbucks workers in NY make history, a report on Amazon’s worker injuries, plus wholesome holiday content.
Howdy! We hope you’ve had a wonderful week. As 2021 comes to an end, we’re slowing down, focusing on rest, and marinating on ideas. ‘Tis the season for hibernation and hunkering down.
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💥 Brewing up a revolution
Congrats to the Starbucks workers in Buffalo, NY, who won their union election yesterday. The service industry is generally made of low-wage and high-turnover jobs, and giant companies makes unionizing risky and difficult. Starbucks definitely didn’t want this to happen.
“It feels surreal and incredibly exciting,” Casey Moore, a barista at one of the unionizing Starbucks, told Motherboard. “I’m so excited to see other baristas at Starbucks and across the service industry say ‘if they can do it, we can do it here too.’ We can change the service industry.”
👀 Watch this interview with the whistleblower who was investigated and fired after she leaked video recordings containing the district managers' anti-union speech.
As a former Starbucks “partner,” I’m thrilled to watch baristas fight for power in the workplace. The reason they call you a “partner” and not an employee is because they give you stock in the company. Mine went down $2.70 yesterday after the election, the average price of a cup of coffee. ☕
📦 The human costs of Amazon’s growth in Minnesota
This week, the National Employment Law Project released a report on Amazon’s exploitative practices that not only abuse workers but contribute to poverty in Minnesotan communities. In their analysis, they found extreme rates of injury, triple-digit turnover rates, wage decline, racial wage gaps and occupational segregation. Amazon warehouse workers are more than twice as likely to become injured as other warehouse workers in the state. The report recommends the state legislature convene public hearings, mandate breaks and reasonable work standards in the industry, ban types of surveillance, and investigate Amazon’s presence in the state as well as its racial inequities.
Testimonies from workers are placed throughout the report, and they are horrifying. The report also addresses the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the workforce:
Many Amazon workers are trapped between poverty and the risk of contracting COVID: “We’re all poor,” explained one Shakopee facility worker when describing why he and colleagues took overtime shifts during the coronavirus pandemic.
🎄 A “Concrete Christmas”
Watch them build it!
Also check out more workers volunteering with Habitat for Humanity!
🎁 We’re making a list…
As we approach the end of the calendar year, we’re reflecting on the best labor moments of 2021. If you’d like to contribute to our list, let us know!
A winter storm is coming, stay warm, friends. We are each other’s harvest.