On Saturday, November 19, 2022, Labor and Environmental Justice Advocates & Organizers, community stakeholders, small businesses, and representatives of youth and young professionals groups, rallied within Weequahic Park in the South Ward of Newark, New Jersey, to celebrate the recent defeat of Amazon and to bring attention to the adverse impacts of Amazon’s Black Friday campaigns, how this hurts small businesses, workers and local communities like the South Ward of Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey.
The Good Jobs Clean Air (GJCA) NJ coalition has organized over the past year to fight against a secret deal between Amazon and the Port Authority. This secret deal would have allowed Amazon to open an Air Hub at Newark Airport without considering impacts on the surrounding communities. The Amazon Air Hub would have increased truck and airplane traffic and the pollution that comes along with it, in communities where public health is already disproportionately threatened. And despite Amazon’s job creation claims, the data show that injury rates are disproportionately high at Amazon facilities and that average wages go down when Amazon comes into communities.
“Black Friday is emblematic of how Amazon squeezes workers, small businesses, communities, and our planet. Corporations like Amazon and others, trick us into thinking we’re getting a good deal. This peak season, Amazon will accelerate its unsustainable business model that has been built by driving people to work at a dangerous pace for little compensation, poisoning the air and water of black and brown communities, strengthening the police state, and decimating small businesses.
Amazon keeps growing by using legal loopholes, an army of lobbyists, empty promises, and illegal tactics.
We have the power to change that.
In regards to Black Friday 2022, I am proud to stand in solidarity with members of the Athena coalition, with Make Amazon Pay, along with a transnational movement that believes we should control our lives, our communities, and our democracy – not Amazon.”
Terrance L. Bankston
NJ Environmental Justice Organizer, Clean Water Action
What were the GJCA Coalition’s Black Friday demands?
- A living wage, safe working conditions, good faith contract negotiations with the Amazon Labor Union, and freedom of association.
- A healthy planet where pollution is not concentrated in Black and brown communities.
- An economy where independent businesses and working people can thrive, and corporations cannot use monopoly power and public subsidies to profit.
- Safety instead of surveillance contracts with ICE, police, and the Israeli government.
No corporation is more egregious in its greed for profit, squeezing workers, our communities, and the planet than Amazon. Amazon is flagrantly thumbing its nose at federal labor law and is spending millions to keep Congress off its back. Amazon needs us more than we need them but we need more of us to come together in order to stop this giant.
National Environmental Justice Director, Clean Water Action
Help the GJCA coalition defend overburdened communities and protect the interest of workers. Good Jobs Clean Air NJ includes Clean Water Action, Ironbound Community Corporation, Main Street Alliance, Make the Road NJ, Newark Environmental Commission, Parents Engaging Parents, South Ward Environmental Alliance, Teamsters Joint Council 73, and Weequahic Park Association.
For more information, contact Terrance L. Bankston here.