This Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is traveling to both New York and Virginia in order to meet with unionizing Amazon workers and Starbucks workers on the same day.
In New York City, Sanders will be meeting with Amazon Labor Union (ALU) organizers and workers, ALU President Christian Smalls announced on Twitter on Wednesday.
“The workers [with Amazon Labor Union] are taking on one of the most powerful companies in the world and one of the wealthiest men in America,” Sanders said. “I’m proud to stand in solidarity with them and support their fight for dignity on the job. See you on Sunday!”
The face-to-face meeting comes after an organizing call between Amazon workers and Sanders held earlier this month in celebration of ALU’s recent win at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York. Sanders praised the workers for their campaign, which he said showed that workers are in the midst of waging “a national, sweeping movement” for better working conditions and worker solidarity.
Also on Sunday, Sanders will travel to Richmond, Virginia, to rally with Starbucks Workers United. The rally, called Unity Fest, was announced about a month ago and will also feature live music from local bands.
Starbucks workers’ union recently swept Richmond, winning five union elections in one day, all by large margins. There are now roughly 25 unionized Starbucks stores in the country, with more union election results coming in weekly.
These wins come as Starbucks has been attacking its employees across the country, despite findings from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that the company’s practice of retaliating against pro-union workers in places like Memphis and Phoenix is a violation of federal labor laws.
“The movement of workers demanding dignity on the job wins again,” Sanders wrote on Tuesday. “Congratulations to Starbucks workers in Richmond on your vote to unionize! I will see you Sunday!”
Sanders has supported unionizing workers in union campaigns at Starbucks, Amazon, and beyond, especially as the labor movement has seen a surge of activity over the past year. In February, Sanders highlighted Starbucks workers’ struggles in a town hall and last month wrote a letter to CEO Howard Schultz demanding that he obey federal labor laws and step out of the way of unionizing workers.
“At a time of growing income and wealth inequality, workers are fighting back and unionizing — at Amazon, Starbucks, universities and hospitals. They are right,” wrote Sanders on Wednesday. “We need an economy that works for all, not just billionaires.”
Indeed, workers are fueling a renewed push for unions across the country. According to NLRB data, union filings have increased by 57 percent over roughly the past six months. Unions are increasingly popular in the U.S. One recent poll found that 75 percent of Americans support Amazon workers’ fight for a union, while Gallup polling last year found that public support for unions is at the highest level it’s been since 1965.
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