Levin: “This is the Most Important Union Election of My Lifetime”
March 5, 2021
BESSEMER, AL – Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09) released the following statement after visiting Bessemer, Alabama with a delegation of members of Congress including Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Cori Bush (MO-01), Terri Sewell (AL-07) and Nikema Williams (GA-05) to support workers at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Bessemer who are organizing with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU):
“I have been organizing workers since 1983, and this is by far the most important union election of my lifetime. It was an incredible honor to be in Bessemer and offer a little solidarity today.
“This is about the future of our country, among very few countries in the world where the employer is allowed to be a party to unionization elections. In America, you can be fired for a good reason, a bad reason or no reason at all. An employer’s goal in a campaign like this is to create fear and tension and for the workers to give up. Not to mention, these workers are going up against one of the most powerful employers in the world, the very embodiment of our global economy. These workers are suffering abuses on the job, like demerits for not hitting their metrics that prevent them from eating or going to the bathroom while COVID spreads through the warehouse, and now they are suffering union-busting tactics from a behemoth corporation with all of the latest technology and resources at its disposal. I met a man who was arrested and taken to jail when he showed up to work, with no explanation.
“But these workers in this very young, overwhelmingly Black workforce are saying, ‘I’m just going to do what is right, no matter the pressure.’ These workers symbolize our chance to finally deal with income and wealth inequality and systemic racism. They show us why we need to pass the PRO Act in the House next week, why we need to prevent employers from engaging in these suppression efforts like captive audience meetings and more when all these workers want to do is create their own organization to have a say on the job.”