Teamsters union steps up efforts to organize Amazon workers

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(Reuters) — The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a labor union in the United States and Canada, is stepping up efforts to unionize workers at Amazon.com Inc by creating a company-specific division to aid workers, it said on Tuesday.

Representatives from 500 unions, which together account for 1.4 million workers in the United States, have come together at the 30th international convention of Teamsters to support and help improve the livelihoods of Amazon workers.

The union tweeted that delegates will vote on a resolution to make the campaign at Amazon a ‘top priority’.

It is also planning pressure campaigns involving work stoppages, petitions and other collective action to push Amazon to bargain over working conditions and meet workers’ demands.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The e-commerce giant and one of the largest private employers in America has for decades discouraged attempts among its over 800,000 U.S. employees to organize, showing managers how to identify union activity, raising wages and warning that union dues would cut into pay.

In April, Amazon Alabama workers voted against forming a union, owing to factors including the company’s fierce resistance to unionization, workers’ skepticism that organizing would get them a better deal and decisions on election parameters.

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