He’s won praise from President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), and funding from liberal megadonor Pierre Omidyar. Now, Amazon Labor Union president Christian Smalls is expressing support for the Hamas terrorists who slaughtered Israelis.
In the wake of last week’s attack, Smalls tweeted "from the river to the Sea," a rallying cry for the destruction of the Jewish state. He wrote "it’s Viva Palestine all day and all night just like it’s Viva Cuba!" and promoted a "#PalestinianLivesMatter" event he will appear at in November with Jeremy Corbyn, the anti-Semitic former British Labour Party leader who has previously met with Hamas.
Those sentiments could escalate a standoff with Amazon, whose CEO Andy Jassy called the Hamas attacks "shocking and painful." Other companies have distanced themselves from the anti-Israel sentiments of unions representing some of their employees. Starbucks threatened legal action against Starbucks Workers United, which represents around 9,000 employees, after the union tweeted "Solidarity with Palestine," the Washington Free Beacon reported. The coffee giant demanded the union "cease and desist" from using its name and likeness, and said the comments had caused "irreparable harm" to the company.
Smalls has been a darling of the progressive movement since 2021, when he successfully led unionization efforts at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island. Biden greeted Smalls with a hug and a handshake at a White House event with labor organizers in May 2022.
"I like you, you're my kind of trouble," Biden said. "Let's not stop."
Sanders invited Smalls to testify on Amazon’s labor practices at a Senate Budget Committee hearing last year, and gave $10,000 to the union in June 2022. He and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) rallied with the Amazon Labor Union on Staten Island in April 2022, where Sanders praised Smalls for standing up to "our oligarchy."
Omidyar, the founder of eBay, reportedly gave $250,000 to the union to a support and education fund for workers, according to the New York Times.
Smalls’s latest remarks seem to be in step with other Amazon union officials. In July, union vice president Jordan Flowers urged the retail giant to cease operations in Israel, and called on Israel to be "held accountable for all charges and crimes." Smalls has referred to Israel as an "apartheid state," according to reports.
Smalls’s union has stumbled after its initial success in unionizing the Staten Island warehouse. It lost campaigns to unionize facilities in Albany and New York City, and scrapped efforts to unionize a warehouse in California. Smalls has been accused of mismanagement. An Amazon union that spun off from the Amazon Labor Union accused it of violating its constitution by refusing to hold elections for union leaders, according to the Associated Press. Union officers have resigned amid the turmoil, and another quit after he was charged with domestic violence.
Smalls did not respond to a request for comment. Amazon also did not respond to comment requests.