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Opinion | The Union Defeat at an Amazon Warehouse

Opinion | The Union Defeat at an Amazon Warehouse

To the Editor:

Re “Amazon Workers Vote Down Union Drive at Alabama Warehouse” (, April 9):

Amazon had its place during the pandemic for those lucky enough to be able to shelter in place and those who wanted to avoid being in public as much as possible. I bought everything — clothes, dog food, toys — on Amazon over the past year. But now that I’ve been vaccinated and feel comfortable going out in a mask, I’m committed to buying my items from a store.

I went to the local hardware store yesterday and there were most of the items I’d just ordered online. Not as many options (do I really need 100 options for measuring cups?), and maybe slightly more expensive. But the more we all buy from Amazon, the more powerful it becomes over its employees, the market and the consumers.

I’m going cold turkey, and I encourage other readers to as well.

Rachel Levine
New York

To the Editor:

Kudos to Amazon for fighting the unionization of the facility in Alabama. I suggest that it fight all attempts at unionizing.

I work for the State of Pennsylvania and was in one of the biggest unions until I recently got out. The unions today are not like they were in the 1960s and ’70s, when they actually helped hardworking people.

I work hard, and the wage increases where I work are across the board, which is so unfair. I get the same wage increase as the person who works half as much as I do, and it is not right.

So keep fighting that unionization. You will be glad you did in the long run.

Melissa Brown
Blairsville, Pa.

To the Editor:

Re “Seeking Diversity, Rezoning Tests SoHo’s Image” (front page, April 4):

It is true that SoHo and NoHo are Manhattan neighborhoods with strict building regulations, but none of these restrictions are economically or racially based. Instead, these guidelines are based on the existing physical character of the buildings and use.

New York City has the right idea in examining what the allowable function of these buildings is but is going about it in the wrong way. Instead of permitting larger buildings to be built with the threadbare hope of some affordability, the city should require any new housing development to include affordability.

The community is united in this goal. But profit-motivated private developers and their enablers in city government continue to push a narrative of class conflict that will result in damaging the neighborhood for all.

Simeon Bankoff
New York
The writer is executive director of the Historic Districts Council.

To the Editor:

In “Many Need Food, Energizing Push to Expand Relief” (front page, April 5), you weave the transformative potential of anti-poverty measures in the American Rescue Plan in the lives of hungry families. But we do not yet know whether this change will equally benefit Indigenous communities, where the federal government has historically failed to meet fundamental trust and treaty obligations.

Families living in Indigenous communities are twice as likely to experience food insecurity, even before the pandemic. Many Native American children experience hunger because of the simple and unjust fact that the federal government bars tribes from administering critical nutrition programs like SNAP and school meals.

Tribes and Native communities have their own solutions for reclaiming and achieving food security. To truly promote equity, Congress must affirm tribal sovereignty and enable tribes to directly administer child nutrition programs.

Expanding tribal authority to administer culturally relevant, essential services would signal a true commitment to advancing equity and a self-determined future for Indian country.

Mia Hubbard
Los Angeles
The writer is vice president for programs at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

To the Editor:

Re “Thank God for the Poets” (Op-Ed, April 7):

Tears welled up, and then a smile, in response to Margaret Renkl’s essay.

Just as science has given us the vaccine to restore our physical health, so art has become the vaccine that restores our mental well-being. Literature, music and the visual arts have the power to comfort, inspire and bring us joy so that we are healed.

How fortunate I am, in my 88th year, to be so blessed.

Edith Lauten
Scarsdale, N.Y.

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