In a historic first, Amazon drivers and dispatchers in Palmdale, Calif., have joined the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and reached a strong tentative agreement containing a multitude of workplace improvements.
“Amazon workers are joining the Teamsters to demand more from this company, including good wages, safe working conditions, and respect,” said Randy Korgan, Teamsters Amazon Division Director and Teamsters Joint Council 42 Director of Organizing. “The Teamsters are coordinating nationwide with Amazon workers, allies committed to holding this corporation accountable, and our union’s 1.2 million members to make sure Amazon provides the benefits and protections that working people deserve.”
“Amazon delivery drivers at DAX8 have made history by organizing their union with Teamsters Local 396 to demand dignity and respect at work,” said Victor Mineros, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 396. “I commend these workers for their courage to take on this greedy multibillion-dollar corporation. We are confident this will lead other Amazon workers nationwide to organize with the Teamsters.”
The 84 workers won neutrality and voluntary union recognition to join Local 396 in Los Angeles. Local 396 and Joint Council 42 negotiated a tentative agreement with Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner (DSP), Battle-Tested Strategies, on behalf of the new members.
The agreement, which will be voted on by the members in the coming weeks, includes immediate pay increases, substantial hourly raises in the fall, provisions that hold Amazon accountable on health and safety standards, a grievance procedure, and other benefits. Full details of the agreement will be available upon ratification by the members.
Amazon workers marched on Amazon in Palmdale on April 24 to call on the company to respect their right to a union and work with their DSP to honor the conditions of the agreement.
“We want fair pay and safe jobs, to be able to provide food for our families. We want to know we will make it home to our families at night after delivering Amazon packages in the extreme heat,” said Rajpal Singh, an Amazon driver in Palmdale. “We organized with the Teamsters to change our working conditions for the better.”
Singh and his coworkers have been calling on Amazon to provide a livable wage and reliable work environment, particularly concerning extreme heat conditions. The workers collectively petitioned Amazon on their demands for a safe workplace during the pandemic.
“We deliver in an Amazon van, wearing an Amazon uniform, but when we petition Amazon, they ignore us. We have a mass of support, we are a union, and now they need to listen,” Singh said.