In this file:


·         Unionization Threatens to Increase Amazon Costs

·         Amazon faces biggest union push in its history



Unionization Threatens to Increase Amazon Costs


Marcy Kreiter, The Food Institute

March 31, 2021


Some 5,800 Amazon employees at the company’s Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse voted in the last two months on whether to unionize in a move that could energize the labor movement and mean higher prices for those buying from the online retail giant.


Vote-counting was to begin this week after both sides exercised their rights to challenge the validity of individual ballots. Warehouse workers began voting Feb. 8 on whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union amid complaints about work rules and disciplinary action.


“It could be an awesome place to work … but there are some things that need to be repaired. And so I chose, and others chose, to stand up and do something about it,” Jennifer Bates, one of the pro-union workers at the warehouse, told NPR (March 29).


More than three dozen complaints have been filed against Amazon with the National Labor Relations Board, detailing unsafe workers conditions and other grievances, including lack of adequate break time that allegedly forced some workers to urinate in garbage cans. Among the other complaints are mandatory overtime, lack of time off for holidays and unreasonable deadlines.










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Amazon faces biggest union push in its history


Joseph Pisani, Associated Press

via The Ridgefield Press (CT) - March 29, 2021


NEW YORK (AP) — The second Jennifer Bates walks away from her post at the Amazon warehouse where she works, the clock starts ticking.


She has precisely 30 minutes to get to the cafeteria and back for her lunch break. That means traversing a warehouse the size of 14 football fields, which eats up precious time. She avoids bringing food from home because warming it up in the microwave would cost her even more minutes. Instead she opts for $4 cold sandwiches from the vending machine and hurries back to her post.


If she makes it, she's lucky. If she doesn't, Amazon could cut her pay, or worse, fire her.


It’s that kind of pressure that has led some Amazon workers to organize the biggest unionization push at the company since it was founded in 1995. And it’s happening in the unlikeliest of places: Bessemer, Alabama, a state with laws that don’t favor unions.


The stakes are high...