Jeff Bezos can’t get a break. After four years of relentless needling from former President Trump over Bezos’ ownership of the Washington Post, he might have been expecting a warmer embrace from the more tech-friendly Biden administration. Not least because Amazon’s most senior public relations flack – Jay Carney – was recruited right out of the Obama/Biden Whitehouse.
And yet. As Amazon warehouse workers in Birmingham, Alabama vote whether to unionize (and thus form the first Amazon worker union in the nation), the new President has jumped into the fray with both feet – unequivocally taking the workers’ side against their billionaire boss.
In a video posted on Twitter this past Sunday, Biden cited “workers in Alabama and all across America [who] are voting on whether to organize a union in their workplace.” He didn’t mention Amazon by name, nor did he have to. “[There must be] no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda,” he warned.
As reported by Gizmodo, last year Amazon posted a job ad on its website for professional union busters…
Analysts must be capable of engaging and informing L7+ ER Principals (attorney stakeholders) on sensitive topics that are highly confidential, including labor organizing threats against the company, establish and track funding and activities connected to corporate campaigns (internal and external) against Amazon, and provide sophisticated analysis on these topics
According to CBS News, “[Workers] are constantly getting texts from Amazon, warning that union dues could leave them with less money than they already have. Anti-union flyers are even posted inside warehouse bathroom stalls.”
“The choice to join a union is up to the workers, full stop,” Biden said in his video.