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Unions V Low Pay and Terrible Working Conditions

The results are in, for the Bessemer AL, Amazon union vote, and it’s not what many of us had hoped. The final tally showed 1,798 votes against unionizing and 738 votes in favor of the union. That means that 70% of the workers voted against unionization. There were certainly deep problems with the way this vote was run. Endless intimidation and manipulation by Amazon, from changing traffic light timing, to putting USPS voting boxes on Amazon’s property, undoubtedly skewed the results. Currently there are several ongoing legal challenges, but ultimately it appears that Amazon has managed to quell this union drive.

The key in all of this is to remember two things: first the power that corporations and other economic elites wield is immense, and second, the process of building countervailing people/labor power is a long and arduous one, with many set-backs along the way, but we are only defeated if we allow our lost battles to discourage us from continuing to push.

It may be a pale silver lining, but the very fact that a serious union effort was underway in AL, the heart of right to work and anti-labor sentiments, shows that things are beginning to change. Amazon, with its near infinite resources, managed to propagandize their workers this time, but the underlying conditions of exploitation and overwork still exist, and can’t be swept aside forever. We all saw the pee bottles.

What's more, Amazon is fighting an uphill battle against the increasing popularity of unions:

Do you approve or disapprove of labor unions?

Approve: 65%

If we join together, and keep building our economic power, keep communicating with our fellow workers, it’s only a matter of time before we win. Remember, 65% of the country supports labor unions, and that number is growing. If we work together, growing our power in solidarity each week, we can build a rising tide of support for popular policies, that not even Bezos and all his billions can stop. So join us each week as we grow our power and take action ourselves!

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