The Billionaire “Space” Race is Built on Workers’ Backs

August 27, 2021

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(This article first appeared in the September-October issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

With great media fanfare, three billionaires, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Richard Branson of Virgin Group and Elon Musk of Tesla, are engaging in a new “space race” while workers at these companies are mistreated and deprived of the benefits of unions.

“As further Amazon unionization campaigns spread beyond Bessemer, AL to other Amazon warehouses and more workers begin fighting for their rights on the job, we see this billionaire ‘space race’ for what it is: using wealth built on the backs of workers to fund their hobbies,” said President Dimondstein.

“These megawealthy individuals are only able to fund these ‘personal projects’ after exploiting their workforce and taking advantage of corporate welfare. Only by coming together in solidarity can workers take back what has been stolen by Bezos and other billionaires, and build power for ourselves on the work room floor.”

“You paid for all of this.”

After spending $5.5 billion on an 11-minute, 62-mile flight, Bezos, who often pays less taxes than the average postal worker, shared a glimpse of truth saying: I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all of this… Seriously, for every Amazon customer out there and every Amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart very much.

Bezos, who hypocritically “thanked” his employees, was not challenged by any media member on exactly how the millionplus Amazon workers paid for the trip: through back-breaking, low-wage, dangerous labor for a company that will not hesitate to crush any attempts at organizing for better pay, benefits and working conditions.

In Bessemer, AL, the company engaged in brutal union-busting tactics against its distribution center workers ahead of the Retail, Warehouse and Department Store Union (RWDSU) NLRB election in March 2021.

The company lobbied the local government to change traffic light patterns to prevent RWDSU organizers from approaching cars at red lights, held numerous captive audience meetings, defied the NLRB’s orders not to install a mailbox at the warehouse in advance of the mail election and threatened to close the facility.

“Workers everywhere are fed up with the status quo of billionaires profiting off our labor while we work longer hours for less pay,” said President Dimondstein. “It is an outrage that these multi-billionaires willingly spend billions of dollars, gained from the exploitation of workers, on the new ‘space race’ while refusing to pay living wages and suppressing through intimidation and coercion their workers efforts to organize into unions. I suggest on their next effort at space travel we leave them up there while we continue to wage the just fight for a better life on Earth.”

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