Three major labor unions have resigned from the board of the country’s oldest consumer advocacy group, alleging that financing from Amazon.com Inc. jeopardized the organization’s progressive goal.
The presidents of the United Food and Commercial Workers, Communications Workers of America, and United Auto Workers wrote separate letters last month announcing that their unions would resign from the National Consumer League’s board of directors immediately, citing the Seattle-based e-commerce giant’s partnership with the Giving Group.
“Unfortunately, it has become obvious over the past several months that the NCL leadership now prioritizes funding from anti-labor businesses like Amazon over its traditional pro-labor and pro-consumer mission,” the presidents of the CWA and UFCW wrote. In a letter to the union, the president of the auto workers claimed he had no choice but to quit because of the consumer group’s choices on “partnering with Amazon and following board debates.”
Sally Greenberg, the NCL’s executive director, declined to comment, stating in an email that it was “an internal board topic.” The stated goal of the National Consumers League, which was founded in 1899, is to “protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad,” according to its website. The chair of the board is a member of the International Union of Service Employees, and one of the vice presidents is a member of the American Federation of Labor-CIO. Amazon, SEIU, and AFL-CIO spokespeople did not immediately reply to requests for comment on Friday.
Amazon target of Labor movement
Amazon became a key target and opponent of the American labor movement and progressive politicians connected with it due to its fast development, expansion into areas like as grocery shops and package delivery, and aggressive and successful efforts to thwart unionization efforts among its workers.
According to NCL’s 2020 annual report, its contributors last year included tech, banking, aviation, and pharmaceutical corporations, as well as unions and legal firms, and it “led unions in states throughout the country.” The minimum wage increase was coordinated and supported.”
The non-profit group made a cautious statement in March in response to Amazon warehouse employees in Bessemer, Alabama, voting to unionize. NCL stated at the time that it supported workers’ freedom to form unions, that employees were “seeking for a louder voice” on topics like productivity goals, and that the business expected employees to respect their decisions. “We have partnered with Amazon on issues of great importance to consumers, such as fighting fraud and supporting financial literacy for adolescents, and appreciate the company’s dedication to those concerns,” NCL said in the same statement, “and pledge to support the $15 per hour minimum wage nationwide.”
Although Amazon employees voted against unionization, a hearing officer for the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that the outcome should be overturned due to the company’s wrongdoing. Amazon has denied any misconduct on its part.