Amazon workers in a warehouse in Alabama have received new support to unionize on Sunday, that is, from President Biden, saying workers should be able to make their own choice about unionizing, free from corporate pressure, according to Bloomberg.
Jennifer Epstein, White House reporter at Bloomberg, said the Biden administration released a new direct-to-camera video featuring Biden who weighed in on the push for Amazon warehouse employees at the Bessemer, Alabama, Amazon Fulfillment Center, to unionize. He told workers to make their "voices heard," saying it's up to them to unionize.
"Let me be really clear: it's not up to me to decide whether anyone should decide a union. But let me be even more clear: it's not up to an employer to decide that either. The choice to join a union is up to the workers – full stop, full stop," the president said.
He continued: "Every worker should have a free and fair choice to join a union. The law guarantees that choice. And it's your right, not that of an employer, it's your right, no employer can take that right away. So make your voice heard."
Here's the full video released by the White House late Sunday evening.
Full video from President Biden on the unionization effort at Amazon in Alabama. pic.twitter.com/AsQLu0y8vm— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) March 1, 2021
As we've previously noted, 5,800 workers at the Bessemer fulfillment center began to vote on unionization in early February. The ballot asked them if they wanted to join the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
If the Bessemer fulfillment center joins RWDSU, it will provide workers with bargaining power to improve pay, increase training, improve safety standards, and other critical benefits.
The push by workers at the Bessemer facility is the largest movement to unionize in Amazon's existence.
Amazon's outgoing CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos, who added tens of billions to his net worth during the pandemic, has been against the movement for his low-skilled workers to unionize. In late January, ahead of the vote, Amazon argued against mail-in ballots, citing the risk of fraud.
Biden's allies at the RWDSU recently said it was time for the president to weigh in on Bessemer's developments.
"It's important for the administration to demonstrate during this campaign its support for unionization," Stuart Appelbaum, president of RWDSU, who hopes to represent the Alabama warehouse workers.
"As President Biden points out, the best way for working people to protect themselves and their families is by organizing into unions," Appelbaum said in a statement after the Biden's video was released last night. "And that is why so many working women and men are fighting for a union at the Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama."
So the question now will Bezo's WaPo slam Biden for supporting the unionization push?