Speed Reads

amazon union push

Lead organizer details some of Amazon's 'anti-union tactics' at Alabama warehouse

Amazon has reportedly "inundated" worker's phones with anti-union information at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, which is home to a potentially historic effort to unionize 5,800 employees.

Josh Brewer, an organizer from the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union who is leading the push, told The American Prospect: "They send every worker a few text messages a day," describing it as "constant" harassment.

Brewer said the company's messages claim the workers will "lose the ability to communicate with us" and the union will force them to go on strike, causing them to lose their wages and leaving them with "no say in your future." The strategy, as Brewer sees it, is to drive workers to think that if they don't get involved with the union, they "won't be harassed every day," although TAP notes Amazon says it's merely exercising its right to inform workers about unions.

In addition to the text messages, Brewer said supervisors conduct "walk arounds," during which they talk to individual workers and deliver what Brewer calls a "give us another chance" spiel. He said they also hold classroom-style meetings to "talk about total union spending on automobiles, how much they spent on travel and cars last year. Things like that." Brewer said "what's most appalling" is when a union activist disputes those claims. "You're called to the front of the room," he told TAP. "They take a picture of your badge like you're an infidel. They cast you out of the room and send you back to work. Once you're identified, you've been marked." Read more at The American Prospect.