UNISON were delighted to be joined by Chris Smalls, the founder and President of the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) and his colleagues, Gerald Bryson, President and Co-Founder of The Congress of Essential Workers (TCOEW) and Jordan Flowers, Co-Founder of the ALU and TCOEW.
In 2020, Chris led a staged walk out that garnered national attention at Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse after raising concerns about the lack of proper safety protocols around Covid-19 exposures. Ever since, Chris has been working tirelessly to raise awareness about the importance of a safe working environment, recently founding the TCOEW, a collective of essential workers who campaign for better working conditions, with Gerald Bryson and Jordan Flowers. As key figures of the growing American Labor movement, Chris, Gerald and Jordan shared their experiences and discussed the importance of unionisation to tackle the common challenges Black workers face.
“Extending a hand of solidarity to other trade unionists is so important. Listening to Chris and his colleagues speak their work to establish equality and fairness really reinforced the importance of organising workers. In the Year of Black Workers in UNISON, this is the only way to make a real difference”.
Margaret Greer, National Officer for Race Equality
Chris, Gerald and Jordan spoke about shared challenges facing Black workers, their priorities for 2023 and the lessons they have learned along their inspiring journeys.