Amazon Workers Can Flourish Without Unions

(p. A1) Amazon workers at a giant warehouse in Alabama voted decisively against forming a union on Friday, squashing the most significant organizing drive in the internet giant’s history and dealing a crushing blow to labor and Democrats when conditions appeared ripe for them to make advances.

Workers cast 1,798 votes against a union, giving Amazon enough to emphatically defeat the effort. Ballots in favor of a union trailed at 738, fewer than 30 percent of the votes tallied, according to federal officials.

. . .

(p. A17) William and Lavonette Stokes, who started work at the Bessemer warehouse in July, said the union had failed to convince them how it could improve their working conditions. Amazon already provides good benefits, relatively high pay that starts at $15 an hour and opportunities to advance, said the couple, who have five children.

“Amazon is the only job I know where they pay your health insurance from Day 1,” Ms. Stokes, 52, said. She added that she had been turned off by how organizers tried to cast the union drive as an extension of the Black Lives Matter movement because most of the workers are Black.

“This was not an African-American issue,’’ said Ms. Stokes, who is Black. “I feel you can work there comfortably without being harassed.”

In a news conference organized by Amazon on Friday, Mr. Stokes and other workers said they had concerns that they wanted the company to address, like better training and anti-bias coaching for managers.

“We just feel like we can do it without the union,” he said. “Why pay the union to do what we can do ourselves?”

For the full story, see:

Karen Weise and Michael Corkery. “Major Setback to Labor As Amazon Employees Reject Unionization Bid.” The New York Times (Saturday, April 10, 2021): A1 & A17.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date April 9, 2021, and has the title “Amazon Workers Vote Down Union Drive at Alabama Warehouse.”)

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