By Aaron Miller-
US President Joe Biden has warned Amazon against intimidating staff considering joining a labour union, without directly naming the global giant company in his warning.
His remarks come ahead of a historic vote in Alabama, where Amazon warehouse workers are deciding whether to join a union.
The giant global company has been subject to criticism for making high demands on workers during the pandemic, without allegedly providing sufficient protection from the virus
The landmark vote will be the first time in the Amazon’s history any of its workers have gained official representation in the country.
Amazon has already been rebuked from a group of 70 investors, which collectively hold around $20 billion in shares, for its unabashed efforts to quash the union vote.
Now President Biden has stepped in directly addressing “workers in Alabama”, without directly naming Amazon
In his two-minute video, Biden said: “Unions lift up workers, both union and non-union, but especially Black and Brown workers.
“There should be no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda. No supervisor should confront employees about their union preferences.”
“Today and over the next few days and weeks workers in Alabama – and all across America – are voting on whether to organise a union in their workplace. This is vitally important – a vitally important choice,” he said.
“There should be no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda. No supervisor should confront employees about their preferences.”.
Stuart Appelbaum, the president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which is leading the effort in Alabama, thanked Mr Biden for what he said was a “clear message of support”.
“As President Biden points out, the best way for working people to protect themselves and their families is by organising into unions. And that is why so many working women and men are fighting for a union at the Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama,” he said.
Amazon is probably the most successful company in the world, and has made trillions through its commercial services throughout the pandemic.