“Ten years ago, there were zero Amazon warehouses in California,” said Shaun Martinez, from the IBT’s Strategic Research and Campaigns Department “Today, Amazon is the state’s largest employer.”
Speaking at a training about Amazon for about 100 Local 853 UPS members at the San Jose Teamster office on November 13, Martinez reviewed Amazon’s growth, from bookseller to major customer of UPS to now being UPS’ biggest competitor—already surpassing Fed-Ex’s market share.
The battle has already begun. Several Teamster locals, including Local 853, are working in coalition with environmental groups, other unions, land use attorneys, and local Labor Councils. In just the last few months that coalition has succeeded in stopping Amazon’s attempt to open local facilities in San Jose, Gilroy, and Hayward.
President Dennis Hart told the group of UPSers that he had been a UPS Business Agent when the 1997 UPS strike took place. “We won that strike by sticking together, and we also got great support from our customers. We can win against Amazon too, but we need to stick together, get focused, and get the community involved.”