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  1. #1
    Immortal Milchshake's Avatar
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    Lightbulb 5,800 Workers Voting to Unionize Their Amazon Facility

    A pretty big deal for the ongoing struggle for better working conditions at Amazon. Happening in the heart of anti union New South.
    A great article here shows the history of organizing in Alabama is deeper than you might think. As the Amazon campaign takes off in Alabama, it turns out there is a real history of radical and usually minority-based unionism in that state. In fact, Alabama probably has a longer history of union activism than any other southern state, in part because of a sizable minority population and in part because of the steel industry’s role in industrializing the state.

    Whatever its outcome, the Amazon unionization drive in Bessemer is part of this history, and its organizers are working in the tradition of what the historian Robert Korstad called the “civil rights unionism” of Black workers combining “class consciousness with race solidarity.” If it is these workers who, among so many others, stand a real chance of unionizing Amazon, then you could say that they owe it, in part, to their heritage.

    As for all of us outside Alabama? We should remember that the political character of the South is more than its shading on an Electoral College map; that the entire region is home to a rich history of resistance against the twin forces of race hierarchy and class exploitation; and that a more just and equitable future may well depend on how much we take those histories to heart and build on them from there.


    The Union vote got a boost from the President yesterday.

    President Biden gave Amazon warehouse staff in Alabama fighting to join a union their biggest support yet, tweeting a video Sunday night saying workers should be able to make their decision in the election without pressure from the company.

    More than 5,800 workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., are in the middle of a seven-week voting period to determine whether they want the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union to represent them. Although Biden didn’t name Amazon in the video, he made it clear that he supports the union drive.

    “Today and over the next few days and weeks, workers in Alabama, and all across America, are voting on whether to organize a union in their workplace,” Biden said.

    And he exhorted employers to refrain from taking any sort of steps that might pressure workers from supporting a union.

    “There should be no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda,” Biden said.

    Biden’s move to weigh in strongly supporting workers’ rights to organize in the midst of such a high-profile campaign was a major break with historical precedent and another sign of his commitment to a campaign promise to be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.”



    This is a really big deal. The first time in US history that a sitting president has supported an active union drive. 2020 was also the first time multiple presidential candidates stood with active picket linbes.

  2. #2
    The Undying Themius's Avatar
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    Now if only the Obama Biden administration hadn't torpedoed past efforts to strengthen unionisation. I mean backing things and saying you support them is nice and all... but hey... how about passing some legislation! Or backing legislation that can create real wide change?

    It's like saying you want a $15 min wage and support it only to offer it up first on the chopping block while crying about "advisory" opinions that don't mean anything.
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  3. #3
    Void Lord Felya's Avatar
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    Dibs on starting the thread about Amazon moving it’s warehouse out of Alabama...

    Good try though... I wish them luck.

    Quote Originally Posted by kasuke06 View Post
    So sad about that warehouse shutting down.
    See the dibs? Yeah, I gots them...
    Last edited by Felya; 2021-03-01 at 02:45 PM.
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  4. #4
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    So sad about that warehouse shutting down.
    O Flora, of the moon, of the dream. O Little ones, O fleeting will of the ancients. Let the hunter be safe. Let them find comfort. And let this dream, their captor, Foretell a pleasant awakening

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by kasuke06 View Post
    So sad about that warehouse shutting down.
    Ive made money on you being wrong..more times than I can count.
    With the pr and optics that the president is shining on this I think it's safe to bet against you yet again.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowferal View Post
    Ive made money on you being wrong..more times than I can count.
    With the pr and optics that the president is shining on this I think it's safe to bet against you yet again.
    When are you going to learn to count past 0?
    O Flora, of the moon, of the dream. O Little ones, O fleeting will of the ancients. Let the hunter be safe. Let them find comfort. And let this dream, their captor, Foretell a pleasant awakening

  7. #7
    Void Lord Felya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowferal View Post
    Ive made money on you being wrong..more times than I can count.
    With the pr and optics that the president is shining on this I think it's safe to bet against you yet again.
    History of unions in US is screaming that it doesn’t mater... I fully recognize I am being cynical, but I think there is little history to be anything other than cynical. I hope they get it... hope...
    Folly and fakery have always been with us... but it has never before been as dangerous as it is now, never in history have we been able to afford it less. - Isaac Asimov
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  8. #8
    What is to stop them from closing the Facility and effectively firing everyone then re-opening at a later date a few months later with new workers?
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  9. #9
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    It's easy to support the workers behind a podium when you don't have an actual thing to lose. Just say 'well Amazon should do the right thing, someone should help them. Maybe there should be a law or something.'

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Hablion View Post
    What is to stop them from closing the Facility and effectively firing everyone then re-opening at a later date a few months later with new workers?
    The numbers their accountants come up with.
    Last edited by PACOX; 2021-03-01 at 03:50 PM.

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  10. #10
    Immortal Milchshake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felya View Post
    History of unions in US is screaming that it doesn’t mater... I fully recognize I am being cynical, but I think there is little history to be anything other than cynical. I hope they get it... hope...
    Ya I'm wondering if Very Online Activism does more harm than good. Does it each people to give up to quickly if the ratios are wrong? Or simply not care about a topic until their favorite influencer talks about it.

    Maybe the Bessemer Workers would get more positive coverage if they sell Eat the Rich Hoodies. Or do some Twitch stream.

  11. #11
    The Undying Themius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milchshake View Post
    Ya I'm wondering if Very Online Activism does more harm than good. Does it each people to give up to quickly if the ratios are wrong? Or simply not care about a topic until their favorite influencer talks about it.

    Maybe the Bessemer Workers would get more positive coverage if they sell Eat the Rich Hoodies. Or do some Twitch stream.
    “The very online! “ screams liberals who think they’re saying words that mean something.
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  12. #12
    The Unstoppable Force PC2's Avatar
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    “There should be no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda,” Biden said.
    I agree with that but it's incredibly hypocritical to say that pro-union people should not be coerced or threatened with punishment but then turn around and say that it is okay for unions to coerce and threaten management and business owners with punishment for not acquiescing to union demands. Using threats to persuade other people to give you more of the things that you want is bad regardless of who is doing it.
    Last edited by PC2; 2021-03-01 at 04:08 PM.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by PC2 View Post
    I agree with that but it's incredibly hypocritical to say that pro-union people should not be coerced or threatened with punishment but then turn around and say that it is okay for unions to coerce and threaten management and business owners with punishment for not acquiescing to union demands. Using threats to persuade other people to give you more of the things that you want is bad regardless of who is doing it.
    I suppose that depends on what you define as coercion and threats. I think most would just call it negotiation/bargaining.
    "In order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance." Paradox of tolerance

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by PC2 View Post
    I agree with that but it's incredibly hypocritical to say that pro-union people should not be coerced or threatened with punishment but then turn around and say that it is okay for unions to coerce and threaten management and business owners with punishment for not acquiescing to union demands. Using threats to persuade other people to give you things that you want is bad regardless of who is doing it.
    Ok, this is being dishonest at best. The only thing a union can do is threaten with a walkout if management/owners decide not to follow the contract that was signed. However, management/owners can threaten to fire people for nearly any reason if there is no union. At least with a union, that cannot happen outright without just cause. How about this, the moment the workers can vote to fire management/board members(owners are impossible due to the fact they own the place) in the same way that management/board members can fire workers, then we can talk about no unions at all.

  15. #15
    The Undying Themius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dezerte View Post
    I suppose that depends on what you define as coercion and threats. I think most would just call it negotiation/bargaining.
    The entire structure of employment is based on coercion and threat so any person like PC2, being upset about workers wanting bargaining rights is just laughable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bodonius View Post
    Black people in america should be happy their ancestors where slaves so they could have a good live.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bodonius View Post
    Black women are racist. Im the one trying to make her[my wife] behave like white people and not say it out loud.
    Totally not racist

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by kasuke06 View Post
    When are you going to learn to count past 0?
    Sad. Try again.

  17. #17
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    Well good on them, Amazon has a history of overworking their workers.
    But then again I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon decides to try to fully automate the facility to spite the workers.

  18. #18
    The Unstoppable Force PC2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dezerte View Post
    I suppose that depends on what you define as coercion and threats. I think most would just call it negotiation/bargaining.
    Okay but if threats of punishment and harmful repercussions are a valid negotiation/bargaining tactic then that also means they are valid for the employer when they are negotiating and bargaining with pro-union people. You can't say that a union can threaten to withhold labor if the employer doesn't offer more compensation and then say the employer can't threaten to withhold the work opportunity and pay of pro-union people. Unless you just want to straight-up admit that what you want is a double standard and not logical consistency across the board.
    Last edited by PC2; 2021-03-01 at 06:47 PM.
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  19. #19
    The Unstoppable Force Theodarzna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PC2 View Post
    Okay but if threats of punishment and harmful repercussions are a valid negotiation/bargaining tactic then that also means they are valid for the employer when they are negotiating and bargaining with a worker. You can't say that a union can threaten to withhold labor if the employer doesn't give them more compensation and then say the employer can't threaten to withhold the working opportunity of a pro-union person. Unless you just want to straight-up admit that what you want is a double standard and not logical consistency across the board.
    Workers and Management are not equals. Workers having a Union and able to make such tactics is simply leveling the negotiating power between two unequal parties.
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by PC2 View Post
    Okay but if threats of punishment and harmful repercussions are a valid negotiation/bargaining tactic then that also means they are valid for the employer when they are negotiating and bargaining with a worker. You can't say that a union can threaten to withhold labor if the employer doesn't offer more compensation and then say the employer can't threaten to withhold the working opportunity and pay of a pro-union person. Unless you just want to straight-up admit that what you want is a double standard and not logical consistency across the board.
    The whole point of a union is to make it possible for workers to bargain on more equal terms, or in your words a more logical consistency across the board.

    If I tell my employer I'm not willing to work for salary X I'm not being coercive or threatening. I'm not punishing them or harming them. What the hell is your thought process here?
    "In order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance." Paradox of tolerance

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