Alabama could be home to first Amazon union in US after Monday vote

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Mar 28, 2021, 01:27 PM(IST)

Amazon services were hit due to issues related to application programming interface (representative image). Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

On Monday, employees at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama will decide whether the first union for the company’s employees will be instituted

Alabama, a largely conservative state could become the first in the United States to have an Amazon union. Most companies came to the state to avoid the troubles of labour unions. But, now that is quickly changing as Amazon employees demand rights.

On Monday, employees at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama will decide whether the first union for the company’s employees will be instituted. If successful, the move could pave way for further unionisation within Amazon, a massive tech company.

If employees chose to unionise, over 5,800 workers at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer will find representation. Recently, Amazon made the headlines after reports of dire conditions for workers came to light, whereby employees didn’t even have the time to urinate.

Also read: 'Employees pee in bottles': Undercover writer reveals Amazon's poor work conditions

Many truck drivers were forced to urinate in bottles owing to this. Following this revelation, accounts from numerous Amazon employees shed light on how they were being treated at the company’s warehouses. 

Workers have revealed that employees are being forced to take 14-hour long shifts with little or no bathroom breaks. Amazon imposes strict targets and penalises people who fail to achieve the set goals. The pressure is such that employees end up peeing in bottles to save time from taking a bathroom break.

Also read: Amazon says it pays Alabama workers well; other local employers pay more

Bernie Sanders, a progressive independent senator endorsed the plan for unionisation after visiting the area.

"This is historically a very anti-union state. That’s why I am incredibly moved and impressed by courage of these workers," Sanders said on Friday.

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