Washington – President Joe Biden offered his support Sunday evening for efforts of Amazon warehouse workers to join unions in Alabama. Saying in the video Workers have the right to organize without pressure from the employer.
Biden did not mention Amazon by name, but noted that “workers in Alabama” face a “very important” vote in the coming weeks. He said unions “raise workers”.
More than 5,800 Amazon workers at a warehouse in Bissemer began voting on February 8 to join the Retail, Wholesale and Store Association. A final vote count is expected within a month.
“There should be no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda,” Biden said in a video posted on Twitter.
No supervisor should confront employees about their union preferences. As you know, every worker should have a free and fair option to join a union. The law guarantees this choice, and it is your right, not the employer’s right. It is your right. The employer cannot take that on Instantly, so make your voice heard. “
Biden declined to explicitly say how workers should vote. Federation leaders They claim Amazon has taken tactics to prevent employees from voting to join unions. Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Biden’s comments.
The vote to create unions for an Amazon facility would represent a colossal victory for the organized labor that includes one of the largest companies in the world.
By contemplating a high-profile labor campaign, Biden departed from the White House’s recent precedent. The statement came after Biden, who campaigned for existence “The most pro-union president I’ve ever seen,” They faced increasing pressure from union activists to become more outspoken on the issue.
Some Amazon workers in Europe are affiliated with unions, but the online shopping giant has resisted efforts in the United States. The most recent union election in the US Amazon warehouse came in 2014, when workers at a Delaware warehouse turned down the effort. International Brotherhood of Teamsters Separate unionization efforts began at distribution centers in Iowa.
Biden said, “Let me be clear: It is not my specialty to decide whether anyone should join a union.” “But let me be more clear: It’s not up to the employer to decide that either. The choice to join a union is up to the workers – stop completely.”
Vox last fall reported a leaked note from Amazon It showed the company plans to invest in surveillance technology that can track unions’ efforts.
In a statement, Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Store Association, thanked Biden for “sending a clear message of support” to Amazon workers who want to join the union.
Connect with Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.