However, the company is also facing pressures from its corporate employees, climate change and other issues, as well as many warehouse workers across the country feeling encouraged to speak up. Attention is only likely to increase as Amazon picks up the pace to outperform Walmart as the largest employer in the country in just a few years.
Business & Economy
Jan. 22, 2021, 7:23 p.m. ET
The success of the Bessemer warehouse, which only opened in March, could inspire workers in the booming e-commerce industry in general, said Nelson Lichtenstein, a labor historian at the University of California at Santa Barbara. “If you can make it in Alabama, we can safely make it here in Southern California,” he said. “It would have an enormous ripple effect.”
In a statement, Amazon spokeswoman Heather Knox said the company doesn’t believe the union “represents the majority of the views of our employees,” adding, “Our employees choose to work at Amazon because we have some of the best Offer Available Jobs Anywhere we hire, and we encourage everyone to compare our total compensation package, health benefits and work environment to any other company with similar jobs. “
The company has created a website that suggests that union dues – which could be around $ 9.25 per week for a full-time worker – provide workers with less money to pay for school supplies.
“Why not save the money and get the books, gifts, and things you want?” the website says.
An early version of the website featured photos of happy looking young workers, including a picture of a black man jumping in the air that appeared to be from a free photography website. At the construction site, the man and a woman are depicted in a picture that reads “Excited African American couple jumping and having fun”.
When asked on the website, Amazon called it “educational” and said it “helps employees understand the facts of joining a union.” (By last Tuesday night, the company had removed the photos, including the jumping man.)
Race has often been at the center of union campaigns in the south. A century ago, the multiracial steel and miners ‘unions in the Birmingham area were a “cockpit of workers’ militancy,” Lichtenstein said.