Amazon tried to arrest Christian Smalls for bringing food to warehouse employees during a union drive. Today, the New Yorker is speaking before the Senate and the president is at the White House after a monumental labor victory.

The Senate Committee on the Budget heard testimony from the president of the Amazon Labor Union. The question of whether tax dollars should be used to support companies that violate labor laws was posed at the hearing. The hearing was attended by representatives from other groups.

Smalls said in his opening statement that the types of things Amazon is doing traumatize workers in this country. The government is allowing us to use our rights to organize.

Amazon workers across the country have accused the company of trying to quash labor organizing. Last year, Jonathan Bailey filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, stating that the company retaliated against him for organizing. He said he was held for 90 minutes after organizing a walk out. The National Labor Relations Board found merit in the allegations and filed a complaint against Amazon. As part of the settlement agreement, the company was required to remind employees via email and bulletin boards that they have the right to organize.

According to NBC News, Bailey's complaint was one of 37 against Amazon between February 2020 and March 2021. Amazon was found to have prevented a Staten Island employee from distributing pro-union literature in the break room after the settlement. The company spent $4.3 million on anti-union consultants last year.

Lindsey Graham accused Senator sanders of unfairly targeting the company.

You are singling out a single company because of your political agenda, Senator Graham said.

Graham said that he disagreed with a Senate hearing taking place at all and that the National Labor Relations Board has a process in place for workers to file complaints if they feel they are being treated unfairly.

You can have oversight hearings, but you have determined that Amazon is a piece of garbage. Graham said that Amazon should not be subjected to this because they are subject to laws in the United States.

Amazon Labor Union founder Christian Smalls speaks at a rally on Staten Island in April 2022.

The founder of the Amazon Labor Union, Christian Smalls, spoke at a rally on Staten Island in New York on Sunday, April 24, 2022. The first union in the country at an Amazon facility and workers at a separate facility who will be voting next week on whether to join a union were met with by Senator Bernie sanders on Staten Island. Photographer: Victor J. Blue.

Smalls directed his opening statement to Senator Graham.

I think it's in your best interest to know that it's not a left or right thing. It isn't a Democrat or Republican thing. Small told the senator that it was a workers issue. I think I was invited to speak on that behalf, and you should listen, because we do represent your constituents as well.

The people are the ones who make these corporations go.

Smalls explained the working conditions of the fulfillment center where he used to work. He said that workers commuted from all of New York, as well as parts of New Jersey, which meant that they would commute for about two and a half hours each way, work a 10- to 12-hour shift, and receive minimal break time. He said that hundreds of union busters came from all over the country. The representatives would host anti-union meetings with groups of 50 to 60 workers. Smalls said that these presentations happened four times a week.

Imagine being hired at Amazon. You don't know your job assignment and the first thing they do is march you into an anti-union propaganda class. He said that the facility was plastered with anti-union signs and told workers to vote no to unionization.

Just met the President lol he said I got him in trouble 😈 gooooooooooood @amazonlabor ✊🏽

— Christian Smalls (@Shut_downAmazon) May 5, 2022

The PRO Act was recently passed in the House. If the PRO Act passed, it would mean that employees cannot be forced to join a union or pay dues. Union organizers believe that right-to-work laws exist to discourage unionization since it is already illegal to force someone to join a union. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935, which protects the rights of workers, would be one of the biggest reforms of labor legislation since the PRO Act if it passes in the Senate.

Smalls and other labor organizers went to the White House after the hearing.

Smalls was likely referring to the backlash Biden experienced after expressing support for the Amazon union.

Staten Island Amazon workers vote to unionize

Amazon workers reject bid to unionize a second Staten Island warehouse