August 8, 2022

“Of course we want to win,” said Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders on Friday when he visited Alabama. “But I think an important point has already been proven. And that means that even in the deep south the workers are ready to stand up, organize and fight for justice. “

In Bessemer, Ala., A union-friendly radio commercial paid for by Black Lives Matter was broadcasting on a local R&B station while every intersection around the warehouse was crowded with signs. “Bama has your back! Vote Union! The big building was wrapped in sky-blue banners that read “VOTE”. On Friday, an Amazon employee drove a golf cart across the parking lot to fend off the news media.

A union victory “could transform the labor movement as we can no longer define who workers and union members are,” said Sara Nelson, president of the flight attendants’ association who visited Bessemer this month and felt “overwhelming” local support for the union .

But if the workers vote against the union, Ms. Nelson said, the result would be “pretty devastating”. Ms. Nelson said, “People would have a hard time believing it because of what they were going through on the ground.”

Mr. Sander’s visit seemed to have hit a nerve with Amazon. After announcing the trip, Dave Clark, who runs Amazon’s business and the global consumer business, attacked Mr. Sanders in a series of messages on Twitter, as well as the company’s official social media account. “I often say we’re the Bernie Sanders’ employers, but that’s not entirely true because we actually offer a progressive job,” Mr Clark wrote in a tweet.

Amazon has said it doesn’t believe the union represents the majority of its workforce. Andrew Herdener, Amazon’s vice president of global communications, said in a statement, “Our employees know the truth – starting day one with wages of $ 15 or more for healthcare and a safe and inclusive workplace. We have encouraged all of our employees to vote and hope they did. “