You Can’t Call
if you Ignore
By Stuart Appelbaum, President
Retail, Wholesale and Department
Store Union, UFCW
Amazon has been well documented as one of
the most anti-worker, anti-union companies
in the U.S. and around the world. Amazon is
a trillion-dollar company and is controlled by the
wealthiest man on the planet; yet it consistently
mistreats and dehumanizes its workers around the globe – the very women
and men who have made the company successful.
Amazon workers in Germany, Italy, and Spain have gone on strike, and
we’ve seen massive demonstrations by Amazon workers in Great Britain
over the way they are being mistreated. Amazon’s business model is based
on receiving taxpayer subsidies, paying little or no taxes, and mistreating
Amazon warehouse workers face outrageous work quotas and cruel
working conditions that have left many with illnesses and injuries.
Contracted workers, such as those making “last mile” deliveries, have
described inhumane working conditions and demands. These couriers say
they cannot take bathroom breaks and often feel compelled to drive
dangerously to satisfy the stringent demands of Amazon.
In the United Kingdom alone, there have been 600 ambulance calls to
the online retailer’s warehouses in the past three years, and, according to a
study by the GMB union, roughly 80 percent of workers experience pain on
Gov. Cuomo was absolutely right when he said recently at a rally about
Charter Communications: “What’s happening in this country is there’s more
and more corporate power and they’re trying to abuse workers. It’s
happening all across the board. It’s happening all across the nation. But
we’re saying it’s not going to happen in the state of New York.”
The importance of Amazon and what it means for the future world of work
transcends one company. These issues and more are examined and exposed
in a new report by the RWDSU called “What’s Wrong With Amazon?,” which
can be viewed online here: https://tinyurl.com/WhatsWrongWithAmazon.
The report details the extent of Amazon’s detrimental effects on workers and
communities, and shows why, in the words of Sharan Burrow, the newly reelected
head of the global labor movement, Amazon is the global labor
movement’s number one target.
Nobody can call themselves pro-worker or pro-union
if they exempt or ignore Amazon’s behavior. If Amazon
wants to be welcomed in New York, it needs to
change the way it treats working women and men
and their unions.
BRONX TIMES REPORTER, DECEMBER 28 16 -JANIARY 3, 2019 BTR
Michael Max Knobbe greets the Kyrgyz journalists on-air during Open World.
Schneps Community News Group/Alex Mitchell
Pair of journalists from Kyrgyz
Republic visit BronxNet studio
BY ALEX MITCHELL
BronxNet’s studio at Lehman College
received a very special visit on
Friday, December 14.
The U.S. State Department invited
six participants to take part in what
state offi cials described as an ‘International
Visitor Leadership Program’s
Regional Project for the Kyrgyz Republic.’
Called 21st Century Changemakers:
New and Traditional Media in
the Digital Age, journalists from Kyrgyzstan
spent weeks touring various
American media centers across the
They were featured on BronxNet’s
Open World program, in addition to
touring the state-of-the-art studio facility.
During the show journalists discussed
some major cultural differences
between Kyrgyzstan and America.
Journalist Bekbaeva Zhyldyz explained
how Kyrgyzstan values democratic
values a great deal more than its
She continued on, mentioning how
old Soviet customs still remain present
in their media that refl ect the tone
“American journalists are much
more relaxed,” Zhyldyz said. “Scandinavian
(journalists) are too,” she
Zhyldyz has spent over a decade
covering world news and popular culture
in her home of Osh City.
The group of journalists did miss
out on a crucial element of American
culture, though. Pizza. During their
cross-continental journey, at no point
did the journalists ever stop for pizza.
Being that their cuisine is much
more meat based than a standard
American one, pizza wasn’t fi rst on the
However, one of the journalist’s favorite
treats was scrambled eggs and
Although, the group assured this
reporter that each journalist would
have a slice of pizza before leaving the
BronxNet was the fi nal stop on their
American tour. Prior to their inaugural
trip to the Bronx, the journalists
toured both CNN and the Wall Street
Journal newsrooms in Manhattan.
The tour also included BronxNet to
show the foreign guest a shining example
of American, community driven
“BronxNet is always proud to share
our experiences with journalists visiting
the U.S, as media outlets seek to
make global connections, and we are
particularly honored to be selected by
the U.S. Department of State’s International
Visitor Program,” said Bronx-
Net’s executive director Michael Max
The dialogue and exchange about
media with the distinguished journalists
from Kyrgyzstan was mutually
Knobbe along with other BronxNet
directors learned about the process of
becoming a journalist in Kyrgyzstan.
It’s a ten-year process that begins
as early as age 15 for anyone ambitious
enough in the Asian republic.
Community media in Kyrgyzstan
isn’t presented at nearly the volume
that’s found in America.
That was something impressive to
the visiting journalists.
“We are pleased to serve as a model
of community media for content creators
and media makers who are seeking
more ways to connect with communities
locally and globally,” Knobbe
As a matter of fact, he gave the journalists
something to remember America
and the Bronx by while on-air.
After thanking them for coming to
BronxNet, Knobbe handed out special
edition BronxNet T-shirts to his new
foreign friends before their return to