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Amazon Workers Want to Unionize
American Middle Class

Amazon Workers Want to Unionize

Nearly 6,000 Amazon’s workers from an Alabama warehouse have been casting their ballot to unionize since February.  Yesterday was the deadline for all mail-in voting.  The counting of the votes starts today.

The warehouse workers are complaining about the harsh working conditions of the warehouse.  If they win their battle, their center will be the first Amazon unionized warehouse in the country.  That victory might have a domino effect.    

The tally of the votes is set to be web-streamed and watched by labor advocates across the country.

The Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union is leading the push to unionize in Bessemer.  Their victory won’t mean that all the warehouse workers of the giant e-retailer across the country are now union employers.

Each center will have to go through a similar fight if they, too, want to unionize.  Amazon has about 285 fulfillment centers, with most of them being in the United States.  The company does have collective bargaining agreements with its European employees.

List of Workers’ Demands:

Amazon’s frontline workers have been complaining and protesting for better pay and safer working conditions for years now.  According to its own report, 19,000 employees contracted the Coronavirus last year.  Here what the workers want from their company:

  • Better working conditions
  • Better safety measures
  • Higher pay
  • Longer break-time
  • Better job security

Amazon Response

Since the average pay in Bessemer is $15.30, Amazon said that the union is interested more in union dues than workers’ well-being. Alabama’s minimum wage is $7.25.   

The company also said that workers get excellent benefits, including paid-time-off, health, vision, and dental insurance with zero union dues. 

The Bessemer Warehouse organization could set off a chain reaction across the giant retailer’s operations nationwide.  

If all warehouses decide to unionize, the company will have to negotiate labor contracts with each warehouse union individually.

Amazon is the second-largest private employer in the country.  It has more than 1.2 million employees, according to its 2020 annual report.

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