Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)warehouse workers received support from an important U.S. executive. On Sunday, President Biden said in a video that he is backing the organizing drive in Bessemer, Alabama.
In a video shared on Twitter the president said that on Sunday and in the next few days and weeks, workers in Alabama and all across America would vote on the necessity of a union in their workplace. He said that it was an important choice as Americans faced the deadly pandemic, the economic crisis and race reckoning. He said what has been revealed “is the deep disparities that still exist in our country.”
Over 5,800 warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama will be voting on the issue of joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Union. The mail-in ballot is open through March 29. If it is successful the first Amazon warehouse union in the nation will be set up. This could also be a historic victory as organizing labor in the South of the nation has always been difficult for unions.
The e-commerce giant has fought tooth and nail to prevent unionization in the U.S. The last time a vote was organized was more than six years in 2014. At that time a group of technicians in Delaware had voted down unionization. Even now, Amazon representatives have said that the workers organizing the union drive are in a minority as they don’t represent most of the workers in the Bessemer plan. Jay Carney, senior vice president, did not respond when asked for comments.
Biden also emphasized in his video that there should be “no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, and no anti-union propaganda amid the elections. He also said the employer could not decide the union elections.
Biden has also backed labor law reform in the far reaching protecting the Right to Organize Act or the PRO. The former president, Donald Trump was closely aligned with businesses and corporates. He vehemently opposed Democratic policies on labor such as the PRO Act.
Many of Amazon’s warehouses in Europe are under union contracts. The laws and many politicians worldwide favor labor policies that balance the divide between workers, unions and management. Huge corporates in democracies are generally affiliated to different unions worldwide. America has been slow in implementing labor polices like the PRO Act and if the union drive in Amazon is successful, it will be a first step to minimizing the great divide.