5,800 Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama will begin voting February 8th (via mail-in ballots) on whether or not they want to unionize.
That election will continue until March 29th – the last day that the NLRB will accept ballots.
During those seven weeks, the workers are sure to face a barrage of anti-union propaganda from Amazon.
In fact, they already are.
The Washington Post reports, for example, that workers are seeing union-busting activity in the bathrooms with flyers asking “Where will your dues go?”
Warehouse workers, Darryl Richardson, says “They got right in your face when you’re using the stall.”
Bloomberg reports that workers are ordered to attend small anti-union brainwashing meetings:
“Employees have been ordered to attend meetings where managers sow doubts about the unionization drive, according to two workers who attended. The meetings typically last about half an hour and target about 15 employees at a time, one said, frustrating workers because they fall behind in their duties during the sessions and have to catch up later.
‘They present anti-union propaganda thinly veiled as factual information,’ said the worker, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal. Both workers said questions about potentially positive aspects of union membership are brushed off. One recalled asking why ‘Amazon is beating us over the head with these ‘facts’ in such a one-sided way,” and said the manager responded: ‘Amazon is very clear with our stance with unions.’”
Amazon is playing tough and dirty because a union win at the Alabama warehouse will likely spread to other locations, emboldening workers to organize. It’s shaping to be the labor battle of the year, maybe even decade.