Workers at one of the nation’s most union-averse companies in one of the most hostile states toward organized labor got a welcome boost this week from Sen. Bernie Sanders, who tweeted his full-throated support for what he said could be a “shot heard around the world.”
In a significant first step, workers at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Bessemer, Alabama, outside of Birmingham, filed notice with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Washington Post—which is owned by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos—reports.
The notice states that the warehouse workers intend to hold an election to establish a collective bargaining unit to represent some 1,500 full- and part-time employees at the facility under the auspices of the Mid-South Council of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
Sanders (I-Vt.) first weighed in on the issue with a Monday tweet asserting that “all workers are entitled to decent wages and working conditions, which is why I stand with the Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama exercising their constitutional right to form a union.”
“Mr. Bezos, the wealthiest person in America, must not interfere in this election,” added Sanders, a staunch supporter of organized labor and a living wage throughout his more than four decades of public service.
Tweeting again on Tuesday, Sanders said that “if Amazon workers in Alabama—a strong anti-union state—vote to form a union, it will be a shot heard around the world.”
“If they can negotiate higher wages and better working conditions in the South, it will benefit every worker in America,” he stressed. “I strongly support their efforts.”
If Amazon workers in Alabama – a strong anti-union state – vote to form a union, it will be a shot heard around the world. If they can negotiate higher wages and better working conditions in the South, it will benefit every worker in America. I strongly support their efforts. https://t.co/ywldDO5hzv
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 24, 2020
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