Amazon.com (AMZN) workers in Alabama considering joining a union received support from President Joe Biden on Sunday, with the president saying workers there should be able to make their own choice about whether to join a union.
“Let me be really clear: It’s not up to me to decide whether anyone should join a union. But let me be even more clear: It’s not up to an employer to decide that either,” Biden said in a direct-to-camera video produced by the White House and given first to Bloomberg News.
“The choice to join a union is up to the workers - full stop, full stop. There should be no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda,” he said in the video.
“No supervisor should confront employees about their union preferences. You know, every worker should have a free and fair choice to join a union. The law guarantees that choice,” Biden said.
The effort at the Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama, is the largest unionization effort at Amazon to date. Amazon’s request last month to delay union elections at the Alabama warehouses was denied by the National Labor Relations Board.
Some 6,000 workers at the Bessemer, Ala., facility, 15 miles southwest of Birmingham, will choose whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Mail-in voting for 6,000 workers began in mid-February and will continue until the end of March.
Amazon workers at several fulfillment centers have complained during the pandemic that safety procedures have been inadequate. Amazon has said it’s ensuring a safe workplace.
The company last month proactively sued New York state Attorney General Letitia James, claiming her office overstepped its authority in seeking to penalize the company for what it viewed as pandemic safety protocol failures.
At last check, Amazon shares were up 0.83% at $3,118.70.