Labor and the Economy

Labor and the Economy

Brett Wallace, Still from video, Amazon Union Drive, 2021

This is an ongoing series about labor and the U.S. economy. Following my last post about Amazon’s anti-union efforts, I have created a video in support of the current union drive by Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama.

Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama are voting to unionize. They have until March 29 to decide whether they want to join the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, or RWDSU. Amazon employs over one million workers and is the second-largest employer in the United States. The company is pulling out all the stops to prevent a YES vote for the union.

For this video, I spent much of the last two weeks capturing ongoing rallies that were happening in New York City to support the workers in Bessemer. Such rallies have taken place all over the country. And, I have intertwined this new footage with other anti-Amazon events I have participated in and documented over the last two years, including Amazon’s attempt to move into New York City (a union city), their lack of protections for workers during COVID-19, and their firing of workers, such as Chris Smalls, now founder of The Congress of Essential Workers, who spoke out against their treatment of workers.

Before I end this post, I want to give a big shout-out to my colleagues in the Guggenheim Union for winning their first fair contract. This was a long arduous fight that went on for over a year. I am grateful to them for allowing me into their struggle and to capture part of it on video.

Members of the Guggenheim union outside the museum in Manhattan (courtesy Guggenheim Union). Source: Hyperallergic.

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By Brett

New-York based artist