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UFCW: Amazon Illegally Firing Worker Activists Highlights Urgent Need for Accountability on Eve of Union Election Results at Company’s Alabama Warehouse

April 5, 2021

Congressional Delegation Meets With Alabama Amazon Workers In Unionization Push
BIRMINGHAM, AL - MARCH 05: Amazon workers hold up signs while Congressional delegates visit the Amazon Fulfillment Center after meeting with workers and organizers involved in the Amazon BHM1 facility unionization effort, represented by the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union on March 5, 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama. Workers at Amazon facility currently make $15 an hour, however they feel that their requests for less strict work mandates are not being heard by management. (Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images)

UFCW Affiliate RWDSU’s Campaign to Unionize Amazon Workers in Alabama Takes on Increased Significance as NLRB General Counsel Finds Company Broke the Law in Retaliation Against Worker Activists

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million frontline workers in food and retail – including workers with its affiliate RWDSU which is leading the campaign to unionize Amazon workers in Alabama — condemned the company after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel found that Amazon illegally fired worker activists. The labor agency’s finding that Amazon broke the law comes on the eve of UFCW-RWDSU union election results at the Amazon warehouse in Alabama.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“Today is a reminder that Amazon will break the law to silence its own workers who speak out about the dangerous work conditions frontline workers are facing during this pandemic. Amazon’s illegal retaliation against these whistleblowers makes the Amazon union election in Alabama even more urgent as Bessemer employees exercise their right to make their voices heard. 

“As we partner with our affiliate RWDSU in helping organize these Amazon workers in Alabama, UFCW is calling on the NLRB and all federal labor officials to bring the highest level of scrutiny to the ballot counting this week. Throughout the union election voting in recent weeks, Amazon has waged a ruthless intimidation campaign to stop their workers from joining our union, including mandatory meetings with anti-union propaganda, and even enlisting local law enforcement to create fear among employees. 

“Amazon workers in Alabama will not be silenced and UFCW is calling for the company to be held accountable for these retaliatory firings and its ongoing effort to stop their workers from unionizing.”

BACKGROUND:

UFCW has been a leading national voice calling to hold Amazon accountable for unsafe working conditions and retaliatory firings of whistleblowers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This includes launching the UFCW-RWDSU campaign to unionize Amazon workers in Alabama, highlighting safety failures that allowed a recent COVID outbreak at a Whole Foods store in Detroit and over 19,000 COVID Amazon worker infections across the company’s warehouses and retail stores, and demanding Amazon end its COVID gag rule on employees speaking out about pandemic workplace hazards.

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UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org