Lesson of the Day: ‘How Two Best Friends Beat Amazon’
April 7, 2022

Lesson of the Day: ‘How Two Best Friends Beat Amazon’


Featured Article: “How Two Best Friends Beat Amazon” by Jodi Kantor and Karen Weise

Christian Smalls and Derrick Palmer, greatest mates and staff at Amazon’s success middle in New York Metropolis, strategically organized the primary profitable unionization effort of an Amazon warehouse in the USA, one of the vital important labor victories in a era.

On this lesson, you’ll study how the 2 mates mobilized fellow staff to unionize. You’ll take into consideration your personal relationship with Amazon, and your opinions on this and different unions. Lastly, you’ll contemplate the idea of scholar unions and take into consideration how one in your college or space might assist amplify scholar voice on problems with concern to you and your classmates.

Half 1: Free Write

Have you ever ever collaborated with an in depth good friend or relative to do one thing highly effective or notable? Perhaps you’ve teamed up on a murals, or thrown a celebration, organized an outing or began a membership or enterprise collectively. What was highly effective about working collectively?

Even in the event you’ve by no means executed something like this, is there somebody in your life with whom you’re feeling you may crew as much as change the world — or, at the least, a little bit nook of it? Who would that be and why?

Half 2: Some Labor Union Historical past

What have you learnt about unions? Are you, or is anybody in your loved ones, a member of 1? What has their expertise been like?

For a little bit of background, you may watch this two-minute video concerning the historical past of the labor motion in the USA.

The video states that unions are on the decline in the USA. How are you going to see that through the graphs within the article “The U.S. Labor Movement Is Popular, Prominent and Also Shrinking”? What story do these graphs inform?

Half 3: You and Amazon

How do you’re feeling about Amazon? Do you and your loved ones use it commonly? What have you learnt about how it treats its workers? To what extent do you agree with the Occasions columnist Farhad Manjoo, who writes that he’s a frequent buyer but feels that “it’s changing into not possible to not really feel icky about purchasing at Amazon”?

Read the article, after which reply the next questions:

1. How did Amazon reply when Christian Smalls deliberate a walkout to protest security situations on the success middle the place he labored?

2. Why do the writers say that Amazon’s preliminary response to the walkout could “hang-out it for years to come back”?

3. In response to these interviewed for the article, why was it essential that the organizing come from within Amazon, as an alternative of from outdoors labor organizers?

4. “For all their David-versus-Goliath disadvantages, the Staten Island organizers had the cultural second on their facet,” write these journalists. What does that imply? What helped them succeed?

6. How did Mr. Smalls join with colleagues in the course of the union effort? What did he and Mr. Palmer do to maintain up morale and assist their co-workers amid tough occasions?

7. What anti-union techniques did Amazon make use of? How did staff reply to them?

8. What’s your response to this text? How do you’re feeling concerning the union victory now that you’ve learn the main points? Why do you suppose so many have been drawn to a narrative that has been described as “one of many largest underdog victories” in latest historical past?

Is there a scholar union in your center or highschool? What function does it play within the college group? If not, is there a scholar authorities? Usually, what alternatives are there for college students to collectively voice their opinions?

To see an instance of a scholar union that extends past only one highschool, check out the web site of the Philadelphia Student Union, and take a look at a few of its associated social media. What’s your response? What are they preventing for? Which of these points concern you and your classmates as effectively?

Whether or not you’re represented by a scholar union or not, listed here are some questions you and your classmates may talk about:

  • What points are essential to the scholars in your college group?

  • Should you have been to kind a scholar union, or strengthen an present one, what would you need it to do? What points wouldn’t it tackle? How wouldn’t it work?

  • What’s one factor that you simply suppose adults — lecturers, directors, dad and mom — don’t perceive about youngsters at your college? What would change in the event that they understood?

  • How do you suppose working collectively together with your friends in a scholar union might result in constructive change? What do you suppose could be tough?

Extra Instructing and Studying Alternatives

  • Take into account the messaging. A method that the Amazon staff organized, saved up morale and linked with others was by way of social media. Watch a few of the movies on the Amazon Labor Union’s TikTok page. What do you discover concerning the movies’ messages, content material and tone? Why do you suppose they have been an efficient technique for the union drive? How did Amazon counter the messages? The article “Mandatory Meetings Reveal Amazon’s Approach to Resisting Unions” particulars a few of these methods. Should you have been a employee within the Staten Island warehouse, how do you suppose you may need voted. Why?

  • Study different organizing efforts. Have you ever heard about different latest union actions? The featured article mentions Starbucks employees who’re organizing, and The Occasions has coated union efforts at museums and an REI store in Manhattan. Select one article linked on this part to learn in its entirety. What is exclusive about that union effort? Why are staff supportive of it? How has the corporate responded to the union?

  • Learn an Opinion essay and determine how you’re feeling about unions. Within the essay, “The People, United, Must Fight Hard or Be Defeated,” Binyamin Appelbaum, a member of The New York Occasions editorial board, writes concerning the hope many individuals really feel following the victory at Amazon, but in addition concerning the actuality of the annual lower of staff represented by unions in the USA. Mr. Appelbaum discusses the authorized limitations that many union members — and would-be union members — face when making an attempt to kind a union and negotiate a contract.

    Learn all the essay and mirror on Mr. Appelbaum’s arguments. Do you imagine that unions are vital? Why? What do you suppose needs to be executed to make sure staff have the chance to arrange and negotiate a contract in the event that they want?

Need extra Classes of the Day? Yow will discover all of them here.


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