Amazon is one of the most important companies in the American and global economies. If enough out-of-work socialists and other fed-up workers got jobs at the company and organized, they could build real working-class power in the 21st century economy.
Peter Olney is the retired organizing director of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). He has been a labor organizer for forty years in Massachusetts and California. He has worked for multiple unions before landing at the ILWU in 1997. For three years he was the associate director of the Institute for Labor and Employment at the University of California.
Few workers hold as much potential power as dockworkers. Studying the history of those workers, both in the San Francisco Bay Area and Durban, South Africa, shows how such workers can continue building that power into the twenty-first century.
Amazon plays a key role in the twenty-first-century economy and has shown it’s vulnerable to pressure. Socialists should get jobs there and organize.