French Protesters Take On Amazon
Episode 115 with Marshall Kosloff
If you’re looking for international inspiration in the world of labor organizing, look no further:
You’ve probably seen incredible footage over the years of France’s empowered labor movement shutting down corporate greed and governmental austerity with bold, unapologetic strike actions. Now, the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) has shut off an Amazon facility’s power, identifying the massive consolidation of capital in the mega-corporation’s daily operations at Morlàas — and forcing Amazon into “energy sobriety” to show how important resources must instead be invested in the financing of pensions, under threat from Macron, who seeks to reform France’s pension system against the interest of workers.
This particular display of organized labor power links Amazon’s excess and waste of essential resources with the privations of working-class life under neoliberal austerity. And it reminds us in the United States that the conditions of exploitation for American workers are the same. While Amazon workers here in the U.S. struggle to make a living, face retaliation for union organizing, and literally die on the job, the value they create goes straight to the pockets of an elite and conservative few. We might think about what it would be like for labor unions to be able to cut power to Amazon facilities across the United States. But, of course, we should also think about the strategy and dedication to labor organizing necessary to make this action possible.
On to our guest this week, Marshall Kosloff of The Realignment podcast: