Anti-union Amazon workers share concerns over upcoming vote

Local News
Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — Amazon employees in Bessemer have less than four weeks to cast their vote for or against a union.

The Bessemer fulfillment center is in the national spotlight as 5,800 employees could vote on a landmark decision with one of the nation’s largest employers.

On Wednesday, workers that want to see the vote fail joined a virtual roundtable, hosted by Amazon. J.C. Thompson, a process assistant who has been with Amazon since April of 2020, said the union vote will determine his future with the company.

“The career that I want to have with amazon, if this building is unionized, then I will pursue a building that is non-union,” said Thompson.

In a previous report, an Amazon employee told CBS 42’s Malique Rankin she was not treated like a person. Employees at the roundtable said that was not their experience.

“I’ve been where everyone has been,” said Dawn Hoag, a Bessemer Amazon employee. “I have yet since I’ve been here—one single time—seen anyone treated like a robot.”

“They sincerely care about me and my wellbeing,” said Carla Johnson who has been with the facility since May of 2020.

The Retail Wholesale Department Store Union would represent workers if the union vote passes. Joshua Brewer, an area representative with RWDSU, said the opinions shared at the roundtable do not represent the majority.

“Our experience has been that thousands, three thousand workers, signed authorization cards saying they wanted a union,” said Brewer. “And so ultimately, no one can make that up. That’s very real.”

Amazon states all employees that spoke at its roundtable volunteered. No pro-union workers were included in the conversation.

Employees have until March 29 to send in their union ballots. The union vote is expected to be counted in early April, one by one, with an opportunity for each individual vote to be disputed.

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