Photo by Christian Wiediger via Unsplash

Bessemer, Alabama is home to an Amazon warehouse where organizers are putting pressure on the billion dollar company to allow workers to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). 

While just 6,000 people head into the warehouse each day in Bessemer, this decision to unionize could impact Amazon warehouses nationwide. 

SIDING WITH AMAZON

While the union promises higher wages and protections, some Amazon workers are voting against it. 

Cori Jennings told Insider she works on the “sort side” of the warehouse and decided to vote in favor of Amazon because of the pay, benefits and good relationship with her manager. 

“I love it, I really do,” Jennings told Insider

As soon as Jennings had the chance to vote, she did and following Amazon’s suggestion, Jennings voted no on unionization. 

Amazon increased communication with its workers during the onset of this battle, arguing that workers receive double Alabama minimum wage and healthcare, vision and dental insurance. 

The company has also hung anti-union signs around the warehouse and conducted meetings in hopes to convince its employees that unionization is a bad idea.

UNION EFFORTS

President Joe Biden addressed the controversy of unionization in a Twitter video. While he did not mention Amazon specifically, the president did say Alabama workers should be allowed to join a union without pressure from their company. 

“Unions put power in the hands of workers,” Biden said. 

“They level the playing field. They give you a stronger voice for your health, your safety, higher wages, protections from racial discrimination and sexual harassment.” 

Union organizers have used this press to their advantage and made an effort to speak one-on-one with Alabama workers. 
“This is lighting a fuse, which I believe is going to spark an explosion of union organizing across the country, regardless of the results,” says RWDSU president Stuart Appelbaum.

Written ByAshley Grams

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