One of the organizers who helped to secure a successful vote to unionize at a Staten Island Amazon facility has called out Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for being “radio silent” regarding their efforts.
Connor Spence was interviewed by Status Coup News about the vote last week that marked the first successful vote of its kind in Amazon’s history. The progressive media outlet asked him why Democratic lawmakers had been mostly silent about his group’s work to unionize.
Spence said that he believed lawmakers saw the movement as too risky to associate with because the campaign was “such a long shot.” He added that “at the end of the day, they are politicians” who place their reelection priorities above truly being on the side of workers.
He dismissed questions about AOC dropping out of a scheduled appearance at a pro-union rally held last summer after she had committed to attend. He said he was more upset with her going silent for many months after the rally and making any statements after it became “clear that we were gonna win.”
Spence stressed that his group is an “apolitical union” and does not want to rely on political figures at any rate. He did say that it would have been helpful if AOC and other politicians had used their large platforms to generate publicity and donations for the movement. Spence said that the union “won without them” and is capable of going on to achieve more “big victories without them.”
He added that it is “not really fair” for politicians to gather now at the finish line to say they support the unions since they “needed the support in the beginning.”
“We don’t need it now,” Spence said.
When AOC canceled her confirmed appearance at the union rally last August, her office cited “security concerns” and “scheduling conflicts.” There were some ambiguous references to “threats” on the congresswoman’s life as the cause for her cancellation.
Status Coup News co-founder Jordan Chariton wrote to AOC that there are no “security concerns” with her sending support for the union to her 13 million followers. He told her that her voice could have made a difference.