The Amazon Union’s President Knows How Powerful an Outfit Can Be

At present, the Senate Price range Committee held a listening to to overview Amazon’s labor practices. Throughout the proceedings, senator Lindsey Graham sparred with Amazon Labor Union President Chris Smalls, who accused Graham of prioritizing companies over folks. However nothing made a louder assertion than Smalls’s garments: a New York Yankees baseball hat and a red-and-yellow noticed black jacket with the phrase “Eat the Wealthy” printed on each the back and front.

In some ways, Smalls’s garments stated what he couldn’t. (It’s arduous to lean right into a mic within the Chamber of Commerce and declare, “eat the wealthy.”) As an alternative, Smalls’s jacket serves as an ever-present reminder of his politics and his intentions. Not like most who present up at these hearings, dressed to attenuate any chance they stand out, Smalls took the alternative strategy.

However sporting bright-red garments isn’t the one strategy to ship a political message. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos appeared buttoned up in a pleasant swimsuit when he was referred to as to a 2020 listening to about Amazon’s labor practices. Smalls, in the meantime, makes use of his hat and satin jacket to casts himself in opposition. He doesn’t seem like a politician or an government. He appears like an actual particular person, a New Yorker. Or, as he put it within the listening to, like one of many staff who makes corporations like Amazon go.

Smalls on the rally in Staten Island

Andrew Lichtenstein

This isn’t the primary time Smalls has worn his “Eat the Wealthy” jacket. The piece of outerwear, made by Roku Studio, has develop into one thing of a visible signifier for Smalls. (The model didn’t instantly reply to messages.) He wore it to a rally exterior Amazon’s sorting heart in Staten Island earlier than the staff at that location voted on unionizing (the vote didn’t move) in late April. He additionally wore the jacket during his appearance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show final month.

Smalls appears to grasp his appearances on Fox Information, at a rally, or in entrance of the Senate Price range Committee present him the possibility to ship a message. And he is aware of precisely the message he desires to ship.

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