“Otoro gba gbue gi” – See the Genesis of Prof Uju Anya v Jeff Bezoz animosity

Amazon Union: The Beginning of Prof Uju Anya v Jeff Bezoz war of Words

Christian Smalls is a US labor organizer who engineered a global unraveling of the big corporations. Chris played crucial role in leading the Amazon workers to form a union now widely recognised as Amazon Labor Union (ALU) since 2021 in Staten Island, a borough in New York City.

Why would anyone form a union in a privately owned enterprise? Well, the answer is poor working conditions and substandard payments that don’t march the expended labour. Chris led workers to protest against the unsafe working conditions at the Amazon branch in Staten Island.

In 2021, a tweet supporting Chris Smalls went viral. The poster of that tweet is Prof Uju Anya, a Linguistics professor. She posted her picture alongside the tweet, praising him for standing up against injustice. According to the post, the Professor said –

“Y’all, I met Chris Smalls! Extraordinary brilliant and powerful young man who unionized Amazon!! ✊✊✊”

Since then, the Amazon unionisation movement has taken a worldwide scale, ensuring that other workers of Amazon in different places started queueing into the revolution started in Staten Island, NY by Chris Smalls and his colleagues. This was a nightmare for the billionaire.

Expectedly, Jeff Bezoz took notice, waiting for the right opportunity to pounce and take his pound of flesh. For his troubles, Chris Smalls was sacked by Jeff Bezoz.

However, the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) has sparked a wildfire among poor workers all over the world. Over 50 Amazon warehouses worldwide have contacted the ALU in attempts to organize their own workplaces, with some facilities from Canada, India, South Africa and the United Kingdom asking the ALU for guidance. According to the National Labor Relations Board, USA, about 209 Starbucks stores officially voted to unionize. Unions have also been formed at an Apple store. Again, Google workers have last January formed the Alphabet Workers Union,  (informally referred to as the Google Union).

As you would imagine, this is a nightmare all big companies are horrified by. Amazon has spent millions in dollars so far trying to kill the unions aspirations. Although Amazon won in the case against them at the trial court – Smalls v. Amazon, Inc. (1:20-CV-05492), Chris Smalls has appealed the decision to the Court of Appeal. Also, there’s the pending case of New York v. Amazon, Inc. where Jeff Bezoz’ company is being sued for allegedly providing inadequate safety precautions and retaliation against employees who complained, including Smalls. They suit is also seeking comprehensive review of Amazon policies and compensation for the workers.

After the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Uju Anya made a similar post, but this time around, she targeted the English monarch for her role in colonial history and wished her “excruciating death”. It was at this point that Jeff Bezoz took his revenge by reposting the tweet to amplify it. Expectedly, the post has now turned to a global discuss.

Speaking further about the situation, Prof Uju Anya has stated that –

“I am on the verge of losing my friends from the West, my colleagues and associates in the field of research. I have been subsequently condemned and referred to my tweets as unguided utterances from the mischievous scholar but I laugh because they mostly come from a sect that are ignorant of pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial history of my home country-Nigeria.

“I must appreciate your love and support on the fight against injustice as we all dream for a world of equitable justice and fairness. I am not moved with the pressure and threat coming from mostly my Western associates as ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy’ ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Engage your friends in the discourse, let’s interact together and find a strategy to achieve our dream as African people. Invite more people.”

“I am very happy over the awareness I’ve created 48 hours ago. The likes of Jeff Bezos and many others have reacted. Questions are now being asked about the “British Empire”.

“Factually, Ojukwu and Gowon had a meeting in Ghana, to avert this sad history. But because the British empire which is now under the leadership of King Charles lll were paranoia, they influenced Gowon to go ahead simply because they don’t want another Japan in Africa.”

There are calls from certain quarters for her sack, but it appears the future is quite uncertain. We will keep you updated on this story as it develops.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s