Amazon Delivery Drivers in California Unite: Teamsters Unionize Amid Contract Dispute with Amazon Contractor

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A group of Amazon drivers and dispatchers from Southern California’s Amazon Delivery Service Partners (DSP) has joined the Teamsters union and reached a tentative contract agreement with their employer. Battle-Tested Strategies, which employs 84 workers at Amazon’s DAX8 facility in Palmdale, is one of Amazon’s DSPs that handles last-mile deliveries. If the agreement is finalized, it would be the first time a group of Amazon’s DSPs has formed a union and negotiated with their employer.

Amazon terminates contract with Battle-Tested Strategies

Amazon claimed that Battle-Tested Strategies had a history of underperforming and had already been notified of its contract termination for poor performance. The company stated that the situation was more about a third-party company trying to distract from its failures rather than a unionization effort. Battle-Tested Strategies has not responded to requests for comment. Even if the contract with Amazon is terminated, the drivers will continue to work for the contractor, who has agreed to recognize the union voluntarily.

Amazon delivery drivers technically do not work for Amazon

DSP drivers, who deliver Amazon products to customers in Amazon-branded vehicles and wear Amazon uniforms, technically work for contractors, not Amazon. The drivers called on Amazon to ensure better working conditions and more accountability for subcontracted drivers. The Teamsters have had difficulty organizing Amazon’s vast delivery network, which includes warehouse workers as well as drivers, despite the creation of a new Amazon division in the union last year.

Union demands better wages and safer working conditions

Randy Korgan, director of the Amazon division of the Teamsters, said that the DSP drivers are joining the union to demand better wages, safer working conditions, and respect from their employer. Although the union did not reveal the details of the agreement, it includes immediate pay increases and provisions that hold Amazon accountable for health and safety standards. The drivers will vote on whether to accept the tentative agreement in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the upstart Amazon Labor Union, which won an election at the JFK8 warehouse in New York City last spring, is negotiating a first collective bargaining agreement with Amazon.

Source: ©Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images ; Huffpost

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