Truthout - March 17, 2021
Since the start of the year, Amazon has subjected its almost 6,000 warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, to a relentless and aggressive anti-union campaign. Among other tactics, Amazon management has forced workers to attend multiple anti-union captive-audience meetings, which it has called “education sessions”; it has sent workers numerous anti-union text messages telling them to “vote no” in the on-going mail-in National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election, which ends on March 29; and it has promoted a slick anti-union website and run polished anti-union ads on social media site Twitch. Management has also displayed anti-union posters around the workplace, employed third-party contractors to walk through the facility as human anti-union billboards, and has even installed these messages inside the stalls of the facility’s restrooms.
Amazon’s relentless campaign against the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) has attracted widespread political condemnation from Democratic senators and House representatives, several of whom have visited with Amazon workers in Bessemer. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has invited an Amazon worker from Bessemer to testify before the Senate Budget Committee hearing on inequality on March 17; Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos turned down Sanders’s invitation to testify at the same meeting.
In addition, President Joe Biden criticized the company’s numerous anti-union actions, while, more surprisingly, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida supported pro-union workers over the e-commerce behemoth.
Amid public attention, Amazon has, if anything, intensified its anti-union activities. The corporation has not conducted this aggressive anti-union campaign by itself. Rather, the company is paying tens of thousands of dollars per day to outside labor relations consultants who specialize in stopping workers from choosing a union. In a sign that the company will stop at almost nothing to defeat the RWDSU campaign, Amazon has engaged the services of at least two separate firms specializing in anti-union activities — which is a highly unusual move, as even large corporations usually make do with one firm per bargaining unit campaign — and is using one of the country’s largest union avoidance law firms, Morgan Lewis. As I have discussed in a previous Truthout article, Amazon is contracting with Russ Brown, Rebecca Smith and Bill Monroe of Florida-based union avoidance consultant firm RoadWarrior Productions (RWP), at a cost of almost $10,000 per day plus expenses. ...
Read full report at Truthout