US President Joe Biden stood in solidarity with the Amazon employees to unionise with each other but refrained from explicitly pushing them to make a union.
Employees of the e-commerce giant Amazon in Alabama commenced a vote in February to decide if a union was needed amongst them, which is expected to give rise to a wave of such unions across the United States.
In a video released on the US President’s Twitter account, he said, “Workers in Alabama and all across America are voting on whether to organize a union in their workplace. This is vitally important — a vitally important choice.”
He further added, “There should be no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda. Every worker should have a free and fair choice to join a union.”
Amazon has no official policy which dictates anything against the formation of unions. However, the company has previously attempted to hush any initiatives of employees of the Bessemer warehouse.
In addition to flyers posted in bathrooms, it has conducted meetings to make a case against the formation of unions and even released a website that labels any unions “unnecessary.”
There have been a flurry of protests across the US on working conditions and safety of workers at Amazon, with the COVID-19 pandemic escalating pressure on its distribution network even as profits go up.
The company has maintained that it has invested billions in worker safety even as it has boosted the number of its employees.
It is unclear how many of the Bessemer employees support a union, with the count expected to begin on March 30.
If a majority vote in favor, they will automatically be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) but will only be considered full members after getting approval of a new company contract, which will be negotiated between the company and the union.
Stuart Appelbaum, the RWDSU leader said, “As President Biden points out, the best way for working people to protect themselves and their families is by organizing into unions.”
Even though US President Joe Biden has previously pivoted away from addressing the Bessemer union issue, he pushed an organised labour ideology while campaigning for the 2020 elections.