Did you hear? Amazon just formed its first ever union, here in Staten Island, New York; coincidentally, the only county in New York to vote for Donald Trump.
Now. As a senior associate vice president at a major financial analyst firm on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, I just wanted to make sure that my voice, and the voices of other concerned, hardworking, tax-paying American citizens do not go unheard.
I’m not against unions per se. I’m quite fond of unions, actually; my grandfather was in a union. But this union is nothing but trouble. I should know: I’m an authority on this subject, having received an economics degree from Harvard University summa cum laude.
Let me break it down, so that you may be able to understand it: take out a piece of paper. Draw two diagonal lines. Label one “Supply”, and the other “Demand”. You see where they intersect? That’s the market wage for Amazon workers. Now draw a horizontal line above it. Tada! That’s a union. If the market decided to pay higher wages, it would have adjusted relatively quickly. Clearly, that’s not what the market decided. This union is only going to interfere in the market, which is unacceptable.
In addition, customers, employees, and even employers benefit from a direct relationship between employee and employer. Amazon used to pay a full quarter of these employees’ monthly rent. Now their jobs will finally be automated away, as Amazon has promised would happen for the previous 2 decades, and these people will become homeless. Sure, some of these employees were already homeless, but more of them will just add to the painful eyesore that I and the other citizens of New York have to endure. Thank God I can work from home!
These people don’t understand just how bad this union is in particular, and this is coming from a guy who loves unions. All my life I’ve worked in union-free workplaces, and I never had any problems. Paid legal internships, a small gig at AIG, and a minor managerial role at a small branch of Bank of America. I didn’t need a union because I busted my butt. I was surrounded by old college buddies. We had fun. We were a family. Even our undocumented workers didn’t complain.
But worst of all, it all comes back to people like me—me, who’s been a loyal part of the Amazon family for over 3 years. Instead of 2 days to deliver my new Amazon Alexa, it’ll take 3 days. People like me have a right for the companies that cater to us to treat us with respect. I’m considering this tardiness to be a revocation of that respect. Sure, these workers may want higher wages to combat alleged “outrageous” rents in New York City (spurred on by former disgraced Mayor Bill de Blasio’s socialist housing policies), but what about our rights, including the right to receive a darn package on time? The rights of the people who create the jobs in this country, the movers and shakers? You know…the people that matter?
Don’t get me wrong, I’d go and buy my stuff at a brick-and-mortar store; I support small businesses. But I was one of the first to receive the COVID vaccine back in January of 2021—it might not even be effective anymore. People of my crowd rely on tidy, quick deliveries to stay safe. And it’s such a nice feeling to be taken care by a random person who does all the work for you. That’s why I always tip 20%—never 15, out of respect.
But with this union, all of that is gone. Benefits to employees, employers, and especially customers like me, and other customers: all gone. No longer will the big movers of this country be able to enjoy the on-demand service they deserve and, I’ll dare to say, are entitled to.
Let me reiterate: I am not against unions. I voted for Joe Biden, the union guy. You know? Scranton, Pennsylvania? I recognized the dire threat that pampered billionaire Donald Trump and his mean rhetoric and entitled attitude posed to the social fabric of America. I could’ve voted for whoever I wanted or not voted at all; I would’ve been fine. But I did the patriotic duty of dislodging Trump from office by making posts on social media mocking him, some of which went viral. I held him accountable.
But there are definite downsides to this union, and I don’t see anyone speaking up about it. I know, it’s tough fighting against the union lobby.
And if you still have some irrational hate in your heart for me just because I’m speaking truth to power: I forgive you, and I’ll go on the record to state that I also voted for Eric Adams, the first black mayor of New York. Your criticism of me might just be revealing some deep-seated biases. Perhaps that’s a good point to start on your journey of introspection.
DISCLAIMER: If you couldn’t tell, THIS IS SATIRE! I congratulate the Amazon workers of the JFK8 plant in Staten Island for their historic victory. I really can’t overestimate how incredible this victory was. Despite Amazon spending millions to stop this effort, and despite having no affiliation with a larger union, the workers of JFK8 Staten Island busted their humps and pulled off a truly David vs. Goliath victory. This is a watershed moment in the modern United States labor movement and a fine example of true grassroots energy and worker power. I want to shout out Christian Smalls in particular, the lead organizer at JFK8 who showed great courage in the face of unrelenting character assassination and went on to inspire and lead the workers of JFK8 to their victory.
If an Amazon package comes in 2 days instead of 1, I couldn’t care less. I prefer that Amazon workers in Staten Island get to live a little better, smile a little more, and spend some more time with their families. In some small way, I stand with you.
Image courtesy of Walter McBride/Getty Images.