Today, the Mysticals were playing a human board game called Snakes and Ladders. Verum closed her eyes and shook the dice, wishing for it to roll a six. Alas, when the dice fell onto the table, she could see four dots. Verum groaned as she slid down a snake.
“Better luck next time,” said Orak with a smile. He was close to number 100 on the board. He just needed the dice to roll a four.
That’s when Verum’s crystal ball began spinning round and round. She said, “I should check the news. Be right back!”
“Mysticals, you need to hear this news,” Verum called out, “Amazon workers in New York City have plans to form a union!”
“What is a union?” said Felix, “I don’t understand this news.”
“A union is an organization of workers who have come together to have a voice in the workplace. Through unions, workers negotiate for better working conditions, higher wages, and so on,” explained Scorch.
“During the pandemic, online e-commerce giant Amazon was criticized for unsafe working conditions. Chris Smalls, a worker, protested against these conditions. But Amazon claimed Smalls didn’t follow the Covid safety protocols. They fired him for staging a walkout last year,” said Verum, “A walkout is when workers leave their workplace as a sign of protest. As Smalls was black, this incident also had undertones of racism.”
“That sounds serious,” said Orak.
“So, workers from four Amazon sites in Staten Island, New York formed the Amazon Labor Union,” continued Verum, “They filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board this month asking to formally hold a vote to form the union. Out of 7,000 workers, about 2,000 have signed the petition. That makes it around 30%. That’s the number of signatures they need for the vote to proceed.”
“Hey, this isn’t the first time Amazon workers have tried to unionize,” said Scorch, “I remember Alabama workers pushed for such a step. But ultimately, Amazon won.”
“Yeah, even now, Amazon has said its workers are free to unionize but it’s not the best answer,” said Verum, “In the past, too, it has prevented workers from forming unions. If this effort in New York succeeds, it will be the first union in the United States (US) of Amazon workers.”
“Wow, this could be historic,” said Scorch.