Nate Jackson / April 12, 2021

Amazon Workers Reject Unionization

A warehouse in Alabama didn’t go along with the pleas of Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

As a general rule, companies that deserve unions get them. Again, that’s a big generalization, but it’s something that could be a factor in the news that Amazon workers in Alabama just voted by a 71-29 margin to reject becoming a part of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

Workers tend to unionize when conditions like poor wages and bad conditions merit it. They tend not to when wages and benefits are high and there’s little reason to give up part of your paycheck to a political organization, especially when there are so many recent stories of union bigwigs committing fraud and embezzling money.

Think this vote wasn’t political? Because most of the workers at this Alabama warehouse are black, the union and its allies tried to tie the effort to Black Lives Matter. Moreover, both President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders urged workers to unionize. “Your health, your safety, [and] higher wages” are on the line, Biden warned them in a video. Sanders actually came to Bessemer, Alabama, to personally tell workers to “take on the wealthiest guy in the world” — that would be Amazon chief Jeff Bezos. More on him in a minute.

But even Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio urged workers to unionize, albeit with very different rationale. He wanted to punish Amazon for its multiple offenses in censorship of conservatives. Rubio also hopes to expand the GOP’s outreach with blue-collar workers, though we’d have to say this particular effort fell flat.

So, back to Amazon. The union leader in Alabama suggested there might have been a problem with the integrity of the vote. However, we’re told by Reliable Sources™ like CNN that there’s never trouble with elections anymore.

Kidding aside, the real reason for the vote is far more simple. By all accounts — well, other than the ignorant ramblings of a former bartender in Congress — the world’s biggest online retailer is a pretty good place to work. And it hired 427,000 workers in less than a year. There are comprehensive benefits that include healthcare and parental leave, and wages start at $15 per hour. That latter point is a two-edged sword, given that Amazon employees love it but it also squeezes Amazon’s small business competitors that can’t afford those wages.

Ironically, in spite of all those benefits for its own workers, Sanders wants workers to take on his fellow socialist, Bezos. Perhaps the multimillionaire Sanders is simply jealous of the fact that Bezos is worth an obscene $177 billion. But the two men must surely have a wink-and-nod relationship given that they’re working hard for the same goals, especially through Bezos’s Leftmedia mouthpiece, The Washington Post.

In any case, Bessemer, Alabama, is a 72% black suburb of Birmingham in Jefferson County. Donald Trump won Alabama with 62% of the vote, but Joe Biden won Jefferson County with 55%. Yet even with Biden taking the exceedingly rare step for a president of weighing in on behalf of a union during a vote, workers at one of Amazon’s 800 warehouses signaled that maybe the marriage between Democrats and unions isn’t quite so sound as it used to be.

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