By Serran Soledad
Last Friday, dozens of union workers held a picket line outside the future Amazon fulfillment center in Oxnard, California. This was day two of a strike organized by Ironworkers Local
#433, who initially walked off the jobsite the previous day.
Upon the announcement of the development of the Amazon fulfillment center, and in response to some community backlash, local politicians promised the warehouse would bring thousands of jobs to the largely working-class agricultural city.
Amazon’s contractor for the project, Building Zone Industries (BZI), hired non-union and out-of-state workers to construct the massive center, driving the Local
#433 Ironworkers to call for the strike, with various unions standing in solidarity and refusing to cross the picket.
“[Amazon] probably just want to be greedy about their money. They don’t want to spend it, they want to cut corners,” an ironworker told Tribune.
Workers marched in front of the construction site for three hours, starting in the early morning, with signs reading, “Pay Living Wages! Hire Local Workers!” and “BZI Not Paying Area Standards!”
“We built this. We’re the ones who make [Jeff Bezos] rich,” another worker told Tribune. “They don’t know what we’re capable of.”
Local revolutionary organization Oxnard Revolutionary Study Group also attended, with one activist agitating and joining workers in chants such as “Fight, Fight, Fight! Support the Workers’ Strike!” as the workers marched along the picket line.
After distributing articles on Amazon worker conditions and local farmworker conditions, a supporter from Tribune gave a speech highlighting the need for the working class to have its own paper which covers the conditions and connects the struggles of workers across the country.
Friday’s strike comes in the midst of an economic and health crisis rooted in capitalist overproduction and the state allowing the COVID-19 pandemic to spread. The growing crises of the imperialists continue to inflict historic levels of unemployment and poverty on workers throughout the United States, while the owners of Amazon have seen tremendous growth in profit.
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