Amazon union organizer slams absent AOC for celebrating victory: We don’t need her support now

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was called out by an Amazon union organizer for being “radio silent” as a group of employees in New York successfully worked to unionize.

For the first time in Amazon’s history, employees fought and succeeded in establishing a union at the Staten Island facility, but they say they did so with little to no support from Democratic lawmakers, notably Ocasio-Cortez who represents New York’s 14th District and made headlines in 2019 for opposing the company’s plans to build a second New York headquarters in Queens.

Though the progressive Democrat cheered on the vote tally at the Staten Island Amazon warehouse days ago, critics feel she had essentially ghosted the employees in their efforts.

Despite committing to attend a pro-union rally last August, Ocasio-Cortez failed to show, citing “scheduling conflicts” and “security concerns,” according to Fox News. One of those union organizers, Connor Spence, criticized how the socialist lawmaker “went radio silent for six months after that and didn’t show a word for us until it was clear that we were gonna win.”

He told Jordan Chariton, co-founder of the progressive outlet Status Coup News on Friday that “we are an apolitical union” but that it “would have helped” their efforts to have the support of politicians, though he stressed they “don’t want to be reliant on political outsiders.”

At the end of the day, we won without them, and we can continue to achieve big victories without them,” Spence said. “You know, it would have been helpful to have that support early on.”

“It’s not really fair for them to stand at the finish line now and say that they support us because we needed the support in the beginning. We don’t need it now,” he added.

“I think it’s just that our campaign and our model was such a long shot, they saw it as risky to even associate with us,” Spence told Chariton. “Because at the end of the day, they are politicians as much as they, you know, say that they’re on the side of the workers, they have to prioritize getting reelected and all that stuff.”

Protest organizer Christian Smalls called Ocasio-Cortez’s failure to show up at last summer’s rally outside the Staten Island warehouse a “like a slap in the face,” telling the New York Post at the time, “I figured she would follow her word. It was heartbreaking.”

Her silence and failure to openly support the pro-union group, especially after she very publicly attended the Met Gala a few weeks after the rally, was noted by former MSNBC host Krystal Ball.

“Here’s the guy who organized the union drive talking about how you left them high and dry. These are your constituents, and you couldn’t be bothered to show up until they’re on the cusp of victory,” she tweeted last week with a video of a union organizer.

The congresswoman fired back, defending herself.

“The warehouse isn’t in my district and maybe you should look at a map before claiming so. One scheduling conflict aside, we have requested oversight investigations into Amazon, met with Amazon workers in the Woodside warehouses, and more. Hope you do more due diligence next time,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

When she was challenged by progressive journalist Jordan Chariton, she again offered excuses.

“With respect, there’s no security concerns with sending out support to @amazonlabor trying to win the first unionized Amazon to 13 million followers. Your voice and organizing power makes a difference,” Chariton tweeted in response.

“No security concerns at the met gala,” Ball, “Breaking Points” co-host and a former congressional candidate, noted.

Ball and Smalls responded to comments from some Twitter users who were attempting to defend Ocasio-Cortez.


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Frieda Powers


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