Team Bernie vs. Amazon Executive: War of Words Erupts as Sanders Backs Alabama Union Drive

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    • #413343
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 8,630

      https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/03/25/team-bernie-vs-amazon-executive-war-words-erupts-sanders-backs-alabama-union-drive

      “Paying workers $15 an hour doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust and make workers urinate in water bottles,” tweeted Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and co-founder of the Labor Caucus.

      Warren Gunnels, Sanders’ staff director, issued a reminder: “It’s the fight for $15 and a union movement. We won the first battle. The struggle for living wages, decent benefits, and safe working conditions continues on at the Amazon plant in Bessemer, Alabama versus the wealthiest man alive, Jeff Bezos, who is worth $184 billion.”

      Putting the focus back on the warehouse workers in Bessemer and their union drive, Sanders on Thursday morning said that he is “proud to stand in solidarity with Amazon workers in Alabama who are fighting for better wages and better working conditions.”

      Nearly 6,000 workers are currently in the midst of voting on whether to join the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union. Mail-in ballots are due on March 29.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #413348
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 8,630

      https://truthout.org/articles/bernie-sanders-is-heading-to-bessemer-during-last-days-of-amazon-union-vote/

      Sanders has repeatedly emphasized his belief that, if the Amazon workers vote to unionize, it will be a “shot heard around the world,” benefiting workers far beyond Alabama. And even before the vote has ended, the unionization effort may already be having an effect. More than 1,000 Amazon employees across the country have reportedly contacted the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union about unionizing their workplaces. And Amazon workers in Baltimore, New Orleans and Denver have reportedly started talking about forming a union.

      Amazon leadership is not so pleased about these developments. The company has likely already spent millions of dollars on aggressive union-busting efforts in Alabama and has recently further ramped up its already-repressive surveillance of workers. On Wednesday, the company attempted to fight back on Twitter.

      “I often say we are the Bernie Sanders of employers, but that’s not quite right because we actually deliver a progressive workplace,” tweeted Dave Clark, an Amazon executive. “If you want to hear about $15 an hour and health care, Senator Sanders will be speaking downtown. But if you would like to make at least $15 an hour and have good health care, Amazon is hiring.”

      Clark faced immediate backlash for his statements, with many pointing out the company’s almost innumerable inhumane working conditions. Amazon workers are regularly deprived of breaks, to the point that some pee in bottles for fear of pausing to use the bathroom. They suffer extremely high injury rates at the factories. They fear getting fired at any moment. They risk getting COVID and dying, thanks to unsafe conditions. They face surveillance of their every move both in the workplace and on social media groups. They are often compelled to work through swelteringly hot temperatures inside the factories, or they are forced to endure so many overwhelmingly inhumane conditions at once that they die by suicide or have suicidal thoughts.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #413354
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 8,630

      https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/03/26/what-youre-doing-historical-bernie-sanders-rallies-amazon-workers-alabama

      The nation’s billionaires, he added, “know if you succeed here it will spread all over the country. If you pull this off here, workers all over this country will be saying, ‘If these guys in Alabama could take on the wealthiest guy in the world, we can do it as well.'”

      Amazon worker Darryl Richardson, who launched the Alabama unionization effort, also addressed the rally. “It’s just time to fight,” he said, according to Al.com. “It’s time for us to stand together and fight.”

      Linda Burns, another employee at the so-called fulfillment center in Bessemer, said that after tax deductions, her weekly pay is a paltry $300. Burns told the rally about how tough her job can be: “With one hand, I have to pick up 1,000 pieces in one hour.”

      Burns—who said that if she is one minute late for work, she loses an hour of pay—appealed for solidarity. “We cannot fight Bezos by ourselves,” she said, referring to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who is not only the world’s wealthiest person and history’s first multicentibillionaire in history, but is also on track to become the world’s first trillionaire within this decade. Bezos will step down as CEO later this year and be replaced by longtime Amazon Web Services chief Andy Jassy.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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