EXCERPT FROM BLOOMBERG:
Amazon.com Inc. warehouse workers in Alabama filed a petition with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board to form a union, the latest sign of strife between the online retailer and its large blue-collar workforce.
The federal agency posted a notice dated Friday for a hearing to determine whether the petition meets the criteria to advance to the next step. With enough support, it’ll proceed to a vote among those working at the warehouse outside Birmingham on whether to unionize and be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The recently opened facility in Bessemer employs about 1,500 people.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the plight of so-called essential workers, including those in Amazon’s logistics and delivery operations, whose labor helped many people reduce their exposure by having goods delivered to their homes.
Some Amazon warehouse workers in Europe are union members, but most of the company’s U.S. workforce isn’t unionized. Chief Executive Jeff Bezos has a net worth of $181.9 billion, while many of Amazon’s workers earn so little that they receive government subsidies for food and healthcare.