BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — Amazon workers now have just seven days to vote on whether or not they want a union. On Monday, pro-union organizations gathered to push workers to vote in favor.
Alabama’s Poor People’s Campaign met at Unity CME Church, with Amazon employees sharing why they felt a union was needed.
“A lot of people who are frustrated,” Amazon employee Emmit Ashford said. “A lot of people who are tired. A lot of people who have no other option and their conditions are not what they need to be and not what they deserve.”
Organizers say this vote is bigger than Bessemer, it sets a precedent for Amazon facilities across the country. Alabama Poor People’s campaign said a union would give workers more than a minimum wage, but a living wage.
“This is not just about Bessemer, not just about amazon workers here,” said Rev Carolyn Foster with Alabama Poor People’s Campaign. “But this is about workers all over this country, who feel intimidated whose dignity is not being respected at work.”
Amazon’s starting pay is $15/hour, more than double the federal minimum wage. Those in attendance at Monday’s rally argued employees deserve more.
“There is no better place, there is no better time than standing with our brothers and sisters in unionizing the workers at Amazon,” said former Alabama Senator Doug Jones.
If the union vote passes, workers will be represented by the Retail, Wholesale, Department Store Union. March 29 is the deadline for the nearly 6,000 employees to mail in their union vote.
The votes are expected to be counted early next month.