Amazon is the second largest private employer in the United States. With over 800,000 employees they have a considerable grasp over the both the private and public sectors in America. As with any company, employees have the right to unionize. Forming a union includes organizing workers to achieve common goals such as improving safety standards, and attaining better wages. Clearly there are incentives for workers to unionize at Amazon due to poor working conditions that have recently come to light. The NPR article, It’s A No: Amazon Warehouse Workers Vote Against Unionizing In Historic Election highlights the current union issues at the Amazon plant in Bessemer, Alabama. There has been multiple signs of support for unionization at Amazon plants from the government including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio. However, the vote for Unionization was still 1,798 votes against and only 738 votes in favor.
After years of pushing for unionization this defeat may seem devastating but alas it is not. The retail union is filing a legal challenge to the election due to charges against unfair legal practices that were used by Amazon. They are arguing that the results of the election should be set aside “because conduct by the employer created an atmosphere of confusion, and coercion that ultimately interfered with the employees’ freedom of choice.” Examples of this coercion include the following; mandatory anti-union information sessions, covering warehouses in anti-union propaganda and placing the ballot box on Amazon property. Some workers wondered if this was Amazon’s ploy to be able to monitor the vote. Organizing Unions has always been extremely tricky, but especially now, the odds are always stacked against you.
In my opinion, this is due to the corporate culture in America. We have allowed companies such as Amazon to have too much power over our government. This is no longer about political clout, but actual hardworking people who are working towards a better life. As you can see on the graph below, the United States lag far behind other countries in Unionization. Could we see an increase in the coming years? The result of Amazon’s reelection may prompt U.S. officials to finally revisit the laws that give big advantages to corporations such as Amazon.