Skip to contents
Gage Park, Brighton Park

Amazon Workers Get Some Concessions Since December Walkouts — But No Word On Raises

The starting wage for workers at the Gage Park and Cicero delivery stations is nearly $3 less than what employees get at other area warehouses, an organizer said.

Amazon Delivery, 3507 W. 51st St., in Gage Park on Jan. 12, 2022.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
  • Credibility:

GAGE PARK — Employees at two Chicago-area Amazon warehouses have received improved safety precautions and workplace conditions following coordinated walkouts, but workers say management has been silent on demands to increase wages.

Dozens of workers at the stations at 3507 W. 51st St. in Gage Park and 1500 S. Laramie Ave in Cicero walked off the job Dec. 22 to publicize their demands. The Amazonians United Chicagoland group organized the rallies.

The starting wage for the Gage Park and Cicero delivery stations is nearly $3 less than what employees get at other local stations, said Ted Miin, who works at the Gage Park location and is a member of Amazonians United.

Miin said he didn’t expect Amazon to give workers a raise immediately following the walkout, but he thinks management is being “evasive” and “dismissive” of employees’ biggest request.

“I don’t think they’re taking our raise, or pay match, demand seriously,” he said.

Amazon spokespeople did not respond to requests for comment.

Miin said there has been some progress in workers’ other demands to create an opportunity to switch roles in the warehouse and to upgrade warehouse safety by having a designated worker, or “splitter,” at the start of conveyor belts to sort packages.

Workers can strain their backs and knees when there isn’t a splitter, Miin said. He also said it’s helpful to switch roles every couple of shifts since different roles take a toll on different muscles and joints.

Miin said over the past week or so he’s seen more deliberate action by management to assign splitters and give workers the option to choose their roles. He said their problems are not completely solved, but he’s seeing progress. 

“It’s a big change,” Miin said. “I think that’s a big improvement on the morale. … It feels really good.”

Amazon also implemented manager-free breakrooms at the Cicero warehouse and gave Gage Park workers bottled water at their stations. Miin said they’re the “very easy, very cheap” concessions that Amazon can give, but it makes a difference for workers.

Miin said he couldn’t predict when there might be another walkout, but he thinks the group members could win their pay match demand with more workers and warehouses onboard. 

“I think it’s safe to assume that the walkout on Dec. 22 wasn’t the only or last action we’re going to take,” he said. “I think we’re giving Amazon management some time, patiently, respectfully, to respond to our petition. I think our patience is not unlimited, and if we get the sense they aren’t responding in a reasonable amount of time, I think the disappointment and anger will rise again.”

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation. 

Thanks for subscribing to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods. Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.

Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast” here: