Biden Appears to Show Support for Amazon Workers Who Voted to Unionize

WASHINGTON – Days after warehouse workers on Staten Island defined Amazon and successfully formed a labor union, President Biden on Wednesday threw his support behind workers and pushed for their cause.

In the remarks of the National Conference of Unified Trade Workers, Shri. Biden spoke directly to one of the most powerful companies in the world and defended the rights of workers’ unions. “The choice to join the union is up to the workers alone,” he said in a statement to the National Conference of North American Building Trade Unions. “By the way, Amazon, we’re here. See. “

White House press secretary Jane Sackie said the president was only expressing his long-standing support for collective bargaining and unions.

“What he was not doing is sending a message that he or the US government will be directly involved in any of these attempts or will take some direct action.” Saki said.

However, the comments about Amazon from Mr. were the most obvious. Biden, who has called himself “the most pro-union president” and has long hinted that he rejects the company’s efforts to dissuade its workers from joining the union. Last year, Mr. Biden expressed his support for the warehouse workers trying to merge the Amazon warehouse in Alabama. But at the time, the president did not name the company.

“Let me be really clear: it’s not up to me to decide if anyone should join the union,” he said in a direct-to-camera address posted on the White House’s Twitter page at the time, following a push by pro. Union groups forced him to weigh on the drive. “But let me be clear: it’s not up to the employer to decide.” The workers there voted very little against forming a union. Amazon has also said workers have the right to decide to form unions, but the National Labor Relations Board has filed a number of cases alleging that the company has improperly interfered with their right to do so. Amazon denies it.

The success of the unionization drive at the Staten Island Warehouse – the only Amazon fulfillment center in New York City – took many by surprise. Employees voted 2,654 to be represented by the Amazon Labor Union and 2,131 votes against, according to the National Labor Relations Board, giving the union a victory by more than 10 percentage points.

Victory comes at a dangerous moment for the labor movement. Despite rising public approval for labor unions, high demand for workers, and a pocket of successful labor activity, the share of U.S. workers in unions fell to 10.3 percent last year, the lowest rate in decades.

Critics – including some labor officials – say traditional unions have failed to allocate enough resources to organize campaigns and often wager on the wrong fights.

Amazon is expected to fight aggressively for Union victory. An unsigned statement on its corporate blog said, “We are disappointed with the outcome of the election in Staten Island because we believe that having a direct relationship with the company is best for our employees.”

Amazon went on a lease spree during the epidemic, which gave employees a growing sense of power while fueling workplace safety concerns. It now has 1.6 million employees globally but suffers from high turnover. T, the subject of a New York Times investigation last year at the Staten Island warehouse, known as JFK8, revealed how many of its problems – including inadvertent firing and sky-high attrition – are more widely embodied in Amazon’s employment model. .

The National Labor Relations Board is prosecuting in administrative and federal court where it says Amazon has violated workers’ union rights. Amazon’s main response to the union’s victory was that it believed the agency had lost its neutrality and was actively supporting the union instead of being a neutral mediator.

But the agency said its actions against Amazon were in line with its congressional mandate to enforce labor rights.

Katie Rogers Report from Washington, and Karen Weiss From Seattle. Nome Scabber Contributed by Chicago.

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