President Biden urged workers in Alabama and across the country to make their “voice heard” as Amazon employees at an Alabama facility decide whether to unionize.
“Today and over the next few days and weeks workers in Alabama and all across America are voting on whether to organize a union in their workplace. This is vitally important - a vitally important choice,” Mr. Biden said in a video posted online Sunday evening.
“There should be no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda,” the president said. “Every worker should have a free and fair choice to join a union…so make your voice heard.”
Earlier this month, Amazon employees at a facility in Bessemer, Alabama kicked off the first major unionization push at the company since 2014. The workers are voting by mail on whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) had turned aside a push by the company to have the vote delayed. Amazon had been pushing for an in-person vote, saying that mail ballots could disenfranchise voters.
Mr. Biden didn’t mention the company by name in his remarks, but it was clear what he was talking about.
“It’s not up to me to decide whether anyone should join a union,” Mr. Biden said. “But let me be even more clear: it’s not up to an employer to decide that, either.”
Stuart Applebaum, president of the RWDSU, thanked Mr. Biden for weighing in.
“As President Biden points out, the best way for working people to protect themselves and their families is by organizing into unions,” Mr. Applebaum said.