Amazon warehouse becomes first in US to form union – National & International News – FRI 1Apr2022

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, NY, vote to form a union, the first in the US to do so.

 

 

Amazon warehouse first in US to form union. House passes bill to cap insulin prices; most Republicans voted against it. Zelensky fires two generals, brands them “traitors”.

 

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Amazon warehouse becomes first in US to form union

Workers at Amazon’s JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island, NY, have voted to form a labor union, the first in the US to do so. Voting began last week and concluded yesterday. By a vote of 2,654 to 2,131, the warehouse workers voted to join the Amazon Labor Union, founded by Christian Smalls, a former worker at that warehouse. Smalls began this union fight in 2020 after Amazon fired him for leading a walkout over poor COVID safety. A mile away from JFK8, a second Amazon warehouse, LDJ5, will also hold a vote on whether to join the Amazon Labor Union later this month

Another Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., also held a vote this week. Workers there voted 875 to 993 against joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. However, about 400 of the votes cast have been challenged and remain unopened, so the pro-union side may yet prevail.

In both Staten Island and Alabama, union organizers met stiff resistance from Amazon’s management. Workers were bombarded with anti-union messaging and were forced to attend frequent mandatory ’employee information sessions’. The company spent $4.3 million on consultants to fight unionizing efforts last year.

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Related: Striking Alabama coal miners still picketing after more than a year

 

House passes bill to cap insulin prices; nearly all Republicans voted against it

The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would cap the monthly price of insulin to $35 a month for insured patients. If it were to become law, the bill could save some patients hundreds of dollars a year on a live-saving medicine. However, the savings would not extend to patients who do not have insurance.

Only 12 of 209 House Republicans voted in favor. None of Mississippi’s Republican Representatives voted in favor of the measure. In 2016, Mississippi ranked first in the nation for prevalence of diabetes. 

Democrats admit the bill has only a slim chance of passing the Senate, where it would need 10 Republican votes. But it did give Democrats a chance to force Republicans to reveal where they stand on an issue that affects millions of Americans.

“If 10 Republicans stand between the American people being able to get access to affordable insulin, that’s a good question for 10 Republicans to answer,” said Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee, a cosponsor of the House bill. “Republicans get diabetes, too. Republicans die from diabetes”.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Ukraine bombs Russian fuel depot; Zelensky fires two generals

Russia has accused Ukraine of bombing a fuel depot on the Russian side of the border in Belgorod. Belgorod is near the Ukrainian border and has been a gathering point for Russian tanks and heavy artillery since the start of the conflict. Apparently, two Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopters flew at low altitude under cover of night and bombed the facility. According to Russian sources, there were no fatalities resulting from the attack. However, a Russian spokesman did say the fire would force them to reorganize the fuel supply chain.

Zelensky fires two generals, calls them “traitors”

Ukraine’s President Zelensky has fired two high-ranking generals, branding them as “traitors”. Zelensky said he had stripped the military ranks of Naumov Andriy Olehovych, chief of the Security Service of Ukraine (equivalent to their national guard), and Kryvoruchko Serhiy Oleksandrovych, the head of the SSU in Kherson. Kherson was the first major Ukrainian city to fall to the Russians.

Zelensky provided few details about the reasons for their firing. Nor did he explain what “treasonous” acts they had committed. He merely said that, “Something prevented them from determining where their homeland was” and that they had “violated their military oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people”. Zelensky went on to say, “I do not have time to deal with all the traitors, but they will gradually all be punished”. He also issued a general warning to members of Ukraine’s armed forces, saying that those “who break the military oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people… will inevitably be deprived of high military ranks”.

 

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