Madison organizers rally to show solidarity with workers after Amazon union vote

MADISON, Wis. — Madison organizers rallied Sunday to show solidarity for the workers who voted yes when Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama voted to unionize earlier in the month.

Workers from a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama voted on whether to be the company’s first group of unionized employees. The votes that were counted Friday said that there would be no union.

“Amazon did not win this election fair and square, they pulled out every trick in the book,” said Socialist Alternative organizer Jacob Druker.

There have been reports from workers that they had to attend mandatory meetings meant to convince them to vote against the union leading up to the vote, and that Amazon hung up anti-union posters in the warehouse.

While speaking to the Madison rally, Our Wisconsin Revolution organizer Ashley Hudson said, “They managed to get the Bessemer ‘public police’ — as-in paid for by our tax dollars– to function as private security to intimidate the workers.”

Only about half of the warehouse workers voted in the union election.

“That doesn’t mean the workers love Amazon, what it means is that Amazon played dirty, and because of that they won,” Druker said.

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union the workers were voting to join said they will file a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board.

Amazon believes that its employees voiced their clear desire not to unionize in their votes.

“The objective conditions that Covid has caused with more exploitation and worse inequality than ever are making people angry, making them frustrated, making them desperate, and they are ready to look to solutions that they might not have considered before like unionizing,” Druker said.