President BidenJoe BidenNoem Touts South Dakota’s Coronavirus Response, Knocks Down Locks in CPAC Speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom: A Story of Two Conflicting Governors Biden Celebrates Vaccine Approval But Warns Current Improvement Could Be Reversed MORE He offered his support to union organizing efforts Sunday as Amazon workers at an Alabama warehouse vote on whether to unionize.
In a video posted on Twitter, the president told workers “in Alabama and across the United States” that they are considering joining a union that they face a “vitally important choice.”
He didn’t mention Amazon directly, but his video statement was released after nearly 6,000 warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, began voting earlier this month on the option to join the Retail, Wholesale, and Large Stores Union ( RWDSU). If approved, the union would become the first in Amazon’s US operations.
“I made it clear when I ran that my administration’s policy would be to support union organizing and the right to bargain collectively,” Biden said. “I’m keeping that promise.”
“Let me be very clear: it is not up to me to decide if someone should join a union,” he added. But let me be even clearer: it is not up to the employer to decide that either. The decision to join a union is up to the workers, period. “
Biden went on to say that workers should not face intimidation, coercion, threats, anti-union propaganda or questions from supervisors about their decision.
Workers in Alabama, and across the United States, are voting on whether to organize a union at their workplace. It is a vital choice, one that must be made without intimidation or threats from employers.
Every worker should have the free and fair option to join a union. pic.twitter.com/2lzbyyii1g
– President Biden (@POTUS) March 1, 2021
Ballots were sent for the unionization vote to workers at the Bessemer warehouse earlier this month and must be returned to the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board by March 29, CNBC reported.
The Bessemer facility first opened in March 2020, but its workers soon expressed concerns about job fees, low wages, and concerns about a lack of protection from COVID-19 – issues raised by employees at other locations from Amazon.
Employees at the Alabama warehouse began quietly organizing in July before RWDSU officially filed a petition in November.
Amazon did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment. But a spokesperson previously told The Hill that the union does not represent “the majority of the views of our employees,” while noting the company’s $ 15.30 starting salary.
The online retailer has reportedly campaigned against unionization through a website. and brochures encouraging workers to vote against the effort, according to Vice.
RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum praised Biden’s statement saying that a union is “the best way for workers to protect themselves and their families.”
“And that is why so many working women and men are fighting for a union at Amazon’s Bessemer, Alabama facility,” Appelbaum said in a statement.