Amazon union leaders say AOC abandoned them

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrated the historic unionization of Amazon workers at a Staten Island distribution center this week — but labor organizers are shunning the progressive Democrat.

Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was accused by supporters of the Amazon Labor Union of “leaving them high and dry” by failing to show up for an August rally in support of the workers before the union vote.

Christian Smalls, the man credited with leading the unionization drive, was asked over the weekend if he had a message for Ocasio-Cortez in the wake of his success.

“Hell no,” he said. “She don’t deserve this moment.”

The socialist lawmaker promised organizers she would stand by them at the rally outside the JFK8 Amazon fulfillment center in the Bloomfield section of Staten Island last summer, but she dropped out at the last minute.

Protest leaders told The Post in January that they were so crestfallen, they didn’t even bother inviting her to a follow-up rally in December.

Christian Smalls, the union organizer who spearheaded the successful campaign, criticized Ocasio-Cortez for not showing up to a rally last summer.
AFP via Getty Images

Amazon workers at a warehouse in Staten Island voted Friday to become the web giant’s first unionized US workers.

The vote was 2,654 in favor and 2,131 against unionization, according to National Labor Relations Board officials.

The congresswoman posted a Twitter message showing three flexed biceps emojis in response to a tweet indicating that the union was winning the vote tally over the weekend.

But podcaster Krystal Ball responded with a tweet, writing: “Here’s the guy who organized the union drive talking about how you left them high and dry. These are your constituents and you couldn’t be bothered to show up until they’re on the cusp of victory.”

To which AOC replied: “The warehouse isn’t in my district and maybe you should look at a map before claiming so.”

She added: “One scheduling conflict aside, we have requested oversight investigations into Amazon, met with Amazon workers in the Woodside warehouses, and more.”

“Hope you do more due diligence next time.”

The fulfillment center on Staten Island is the first Amazon facility to unionize.
The fulfillment center on Staten Island is the first Amazon facility to unionize.

In a subsequent tweet, Ocasio-Cortez said security was also a factor in her not appearing at the warehouse to support the workers.

“Security was an issue as well,” she tweeted. “2021 included a lot of high level threats on my life, which limited what activities I was able to do, especially those outside.”

“The combination of that + when we are able to get resources/time to secure them creates scheduling + logistical conflicts.”

Smalls responded to Ocasio-Cortez, tweeting: “Smh @AOC that’s terrible workers from your district definitely commute to Staten Island I know them personally maybe you should do your do [sic] diligence.”

In 2019, Ocasio-Cortez infamously defeated Amazon’s proposal to open up a 25,000-job world headquarters in Queens.


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