President Biden on Thursday met with a group of labor organizers at the White House, including a former Amazon worker who led the drive to unionize the online retailer’s Staten Island facility.
“Today, I met with grassroots worker organizers to thank them for their leadership in organizing unions,” Mr. Biden announced on Twitter. “From the Amazon Labor Union to IATSE at Titmouse Productions, these folks are inspiring a movement of workers across the country.”
Mr. Biden said the union organizers are “inspiring a movement of workers across the country to fight for the pay they deserve.”
Christian Smalls, the Amazon organizer, was among those who participated in a roundtable discussion with Mr. Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, the White House said.
The meeting was Mr. Biden’s latest signal of support for efforts by workers at Amazon, Starbucks and other firms to unionize. It occurred after some of the union workers testified before the Senate.
“The choice to join a union belongs to workers alone … and by the way Amazon, here we come,” Mr. Biden said to thunderous applause at the North America’s Building Trade Unions conference in Washington, D.C.
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Amazon workers at its Staten Island, New York warehouse made history by voting to unionize. The workers become the first group to vote in favor of unionizing at an Amazon warehouse.
But the unionization vote at a different Staten Island Amazon facility failed, according to the count released Monday.
The March vote was a major loss for Amazon, which has repeatedly fought to keep organized labor out of its warehouses, and a big victory for labor unions.
Workers at more than 40 Starbucks locations have voted to unionize since December, after a Buffalo store became the first to support unionization. Votes are now set to take place at hundreds more Starbucks stores across the country.
Mr. Biden has touted his administration as the most “pro-union” in recent history. When Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama were voting to unionize last year, Mr. Biden issued a video offering support but did not mention the e-commerce behemoth specifically.