In response to President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as the next U.S. Secretary for Labor, Allegra Brown, an Amazon Fresh employee and leader with United for Respect issued the following statement:
“With the pandemic raging in our workplaces every day, essential workers need a Labor Secretary who will champion our safety and wellbeing in this next administration, and we have high expectations of Secretary-designee Mayor Marty Walsh. As an Amazon worker, I know that the decisions made by the next Secretary of Labor will have a direct impact on me and my family. The overlapping crises of the pandemic, systemic racism, and historic oppression of the working class have greatly impacted essential workers like me – particularly workers of color who have been traditionally excluded from Big Labor unions.
“I work for the richest man in the world, and I need someone in the Cabinet who will be in my corner, taking a stand with folks like me to fight for better wages and working conditions. I work the day shift at an Amazon warehouse outside of New York City. I pick and pack orders, scan them and add shipping labels, and people around me are getting sick with Covid all the time, while we are under constant surveillance and held to strict quotas that are made for machines, not human beings. We need action from the Biden Administration on day one to address the crisis facing essential retail workers, and we need Secretary-designee Mayor Marty Walsh to lead a response that puts economic, gender, and racial justice at the top of the agenda.
“Essential workers must have a voice in how the Department of Labor addresses the pandemic’s spread in our workplaces, and we call on President-elect Biden and Secretary-designee Mayor Marty Walsh to create an essential worker task force and give us a seat at the table to shape solutions that protect us and our families.
“We are eager to work with Secretary-designee Mayor Marty Walsh and the administration to ensure that those nearly 2.3 million of us who work for the nation’s largest employers – Amazon and Walmart – have an advocate in Washington who will fight for us. Essential workers have been voicing our concerns for years, and we will hold the Biden-Harris administration accountable to our ‘Five to Survive’ pandemic platform: $5/hr hazard pay, access to paid and unpaid leave, virus safety precautions, and a seat at the table when it comes to decision-making around labor policy.”