The following statement was drafted by Baltimore-area Amazon workers who have formed a rank-and-file safety committee at the BWI2 fulfillment center. The committee was founded last month to demand regular testing and contact tracing, an end to speedup and for the closure of nonessential production. For more information about the committee or to form one at your own workplace, contact the World Socialist Web Site International Amazon Workers Voice.
The Baltimore Amazon BWI2 Rank-and-File Safety Committee declares its opposition to the bipartisan efforts to bury the Trump administration’s January 6 fascist coup at the United States Capitol building. We denounce any efforts to downplay the continued threat to democratic rights which this event signified.
We endorse the Socialist Equality Party’s demand for a full congressional investigation into the events of January 6, which must be made public so the people can know of the depth of the plot. Settling accounts with the far right cannot be left in the hands of agencies and departments, such as the Pentagon and the FBI, that have made it possible for these groups and forces to grow.
It is clear that this coup attempt, in which mobs of fascistic supporters of President Donald Trump stormed Congress, some carrying weapons, had substantial support or even cooperation from groups within the US government. Not only were elected congressional representatives left with inadequate protection, but there is footage of incidents of on-duty police officers facilitating the riot while Republican congressmembers incited it.
We condemn the Republican Party’s role in preparing and providing political justification for the January 6 coup. However, our opposition to the conspirators in the Republican Party does not lessen our opposition to the Democratic Party, which in its own way enables the far-right by covering up the scale of the plot and diverting public attention away from the fundamental class questions, in particular towards secondary questions of race. Efforts to blame the incident on “white privilege” and the race of many of the riot’s participants are part of an effort to divide working people and blame “white workers” for what happened on January 6.
But as with the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, working people of all races were the principal target of the fascist conspiracy. Trump’s efforts to hold on to power did not represent the interests of working people, but rich businesspeople and employers, such as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who want to override all public health and safety protections that inhibit the fastest accumulation of profit.
Amazon has increased its profits throughout the pandemic at the expense of workers’ safety. The company has continued to demand back-breaking rates and the prioritizing of non-essential items for delivery. This has led, on one hand, to the mass infection of over 20,000 Amazonians in our warehouses as far back as early October. It has also meant record profits for CEO Bezos and other business executives.
While Amazon Web Services has removed far-right online services that cater to fascist conspiracies, Bezos has profited handsomely from the Trump administration’s herd immunity policies and the removal of all protections against the pandemic. Bezos has watched his personal wealth grow to a value of nearly $200 billion due to his company’s reckless sacrifice of our lives.
Bezos has allied himself with the incoming Biden administration, which has declared that it wants “unity” with a “strong Republican Party” even as the latter foments fascist conspiracies. This is because the Biden administration, like Trump, supports the reckless drive to reopen the economy and schools, placing the agenda of big business above the rights of the population.
It is for this reason that we, the workers of the BWI2 Fulfillment Center Rank-and-File Safety Committee, call for a full congressional inquiry into the events surrounding January 6. Furthermore, we call upon workers to join and form independent rank-and-file committees in preparation for a political general strike to resist the plots of the fascists.
It is absolutely essential that workers begin forming their own committees so that they may develop strategies to resist these attacks and the homicidal reopening policies that they support. The events on January 6 adds urgency to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts by the whole business establishment—including the Democratic Party, Republicans and trade union bureaucrats—to force an unsafe return to work.