Unions Out At Amazon, Blow To US President Biden
After a bitter and bruising battle and bucket loads of worldwide publicity, Unions are out at Amazon, the decision is also another blow for US president Joe Biden who endorsed the move to unionise the Amazon workforce which is among the largest in the USA.
Workers at a major US warehouse in Alabama where the US union movement was looking to unionise the workforce, workers voted 1,798 to 738 against the effort, labour officials said.
That represented a majority of votes cast in the contest, which was seen as a key test for Amazon after global criticism of its treatment of workers during the pandemic.
Biden’s endorsement, for more union jobs and a renewed embrace of labour by many congressional Democrats was also rejected by workers.
The union said it would challenge the results.
The almost total rejection of a union is a setback to organised Labor’s efforts to reverse a decades long decline in employees wanting to join a union.
According to Bloomberg, hiring at Amazon – the second-largest private employer in the U.S. – and other e-commerce warehouses increased last year even as the country shed millions of jobs, including more than 300,000 union positions, during the pandemic.
For unions, the time appeared ripe to organise workers in an expanding sector and an environment where labour unions traditionally have operated: a large blue-collar site where many employees do similar jobs.
The Amazon vote bodes poorly for organised labour trying to increase the share of workers who are union members and revive organised labour as a formidable voice in American workplaces, said Jonathan Spitz, co-leader of the labour relations practice at Jackson Lewis, a management-side law firm. Union members accounted for 10.8% of the total U.S. workforce last year, down from 24% in 1973, according to Georgia State’s data.