Amazon union rally held in Bessemer days before vote

Local News
Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

Bessemer, Ala. (WIAT) — Union groups and Amazon workers held a rally on Saturday for the Bessemer facility to unionize.

Groups like RWDSU, or Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union, helped organize the rally. Though it was dreary outside, many people still attended to have their voices heard.

“Solidarity to the Amazon workers!” One woman chanted. Jennifer Bates has been one of the lead vocal points for the plant to unionize.

“When the complaint turned into cries for help,” Bates said.

She says workers are frustrated by the long hours, break times, and pay.

“It’s important that we get the union in so now we have a an opportunity to sit at the table. Amazon has support, and now he have support,” Bates said.

Joshua Brewer with RWDSU spoke at Saturday’s rally. He says cities like Bessemer need companies to unionize to make work conditions better.

“This is a Union town. It’s already been a union town. And it’s going to continue to be a union town,” Brewer said.

Randy Hadly is also with the organization. He says the union vote for Amazon workers is about more than hours, pay, and benefits.

“They’ve never seen this coming in Bessemer, Alabama. They never thought people would stick together. They thought they would hire people a $15 an hour rate and be satisfied. But it’s not just about money. It’s about respect and it’s about dignity and that’s what the union is going to bring to the table,” Hadly said.

Bates encourages her co-workers to take part in this major decision.

“Use your voice. Stand firm and believe in what you want,” Bates said.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell has offered her support to the workers wanting to unionize. Amazon workers will vote on the matter February 8. The vote could take several weeks to process.

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