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Union-busting in the restroom

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Amazon’s new facility will be the single-largest private investment in the history of Bessemer, according to the town’s mayor.

Amazon is really going all-out to stop an Alabama warehouse from being unionized:

Some workers in Amazon’s Bessemer, Ala., warehouse complain that the company’s aggressive performance expectations leave them little time to take bathroom breaks.

When they do get there, they face messaging from Amazon pressing its case against unionization, imploring them to vote against it when mail-in balloting begins Feb. 8.

“Where will your dues go?” reads a flier posted on the door inside a bathroom stall.

“They got right in your face when you’re using the stall,” said Darryl Richardson, a worker at the warehouse who supports the union. Another pro-union worker who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution said of Amazon’s toilet reading: “I feel like I’m getting harassed.”

The stakes couldn’t be higher for Amazon, which is fighting the biggest labor battle in its history on U.S. soil. Next Monday, the National Labor Relations Board will mail ballots to 5,805 workers at the facility near Birmingham, who will then have seven weeks to decide whether they want the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union to represent them. If they vote yes, they would be the first Amazon warehouse in the United States to unionize.

Also worth noting:

Many of the workers in the Bessemer warehouse are Black, and the union has framed the fight around issues of “respect and dignity” as well as pay, RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum said. “We see this as much as a civil rights struggle as a labor struggle,” he added.

Bessemer workers in support of the union who spoke with The Post said they would welcome more protections. They expressed a litany of concerns about issues from a lack of air conditioning during the hot Alabama summer to fears about the novel coronavirus spreading in the facility.

Will be very interested to see how this comes out.

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