Monday witnessed the much-anticipated vote among workers at the Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama over whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. A ‘yes’ vote would create the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the country, and could set a precedent for other low-wage workers to follow nationwide. This vote is seen as so important that Bernie Sanders traveled to Alabama to personally lobby for the union, and Joe Biden even weighed in to promote a ‘yes’ vote, something not entirely expected from a president who has always been cozy with business interests.
In this clip Ana and Cenk give credit to Bernie for pushing the $15 minimum wage that, eventually, forced Amazon to raise wages and which, Cenk points out, the online retailer now brags about in order to burnish its image as a worker-friendly employer. Despite this image, Ana points out, Amazon has been feverishly working every possible angle to discourage the union, including holding anti-union meetings for workers, employing off-duty police to harass union organizers and distributing anti-union literature.
Keying off Ana’s point about Alabama being a “right-to-work” state that’s particularly hostile to unions, Cenk says that if this vote is successful, the reverberations and inspiration could spread. And that’s exactly what Amazon, and its fellow corporate cronies, are rightfully afraid of, he says.