This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
ONLINE retail giant Amazon faced a wave of demonstrations across the US on Saturday after it was accused of threatening workers as part of union-busting tactics in Alabama.
Some 6,000 workers at the southern state’s processing centre in Bessemer are currently being balloted on whether to unionise with the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) in what could be a landmark deal.
If they win, their victory could signal the beginning of a breakthrough, and become the first Amazon facility in the US to unionise. The ballot is seen as a potential game-changer for the industry.
But Amazon has pulled out all the stops to block the union. Bosses were accused of sending “harassing text messages” at least five times a day to workers’ phones and put up anti-union posters all over the warehouse, including staff toilets, calling for a no vote.
A company website declares that a union “is a business that makes money from dues” demanding loyalty to improve the business.
RWDSU leader Stuart Appelbaum described conditions in the warehouse as being akin to technologically enabled slavery in a recent conversation with the Independent Media Institute.
“People are being dehumanised and mistreated by Amazon,” he said. “People get their assignments from a robot, they’re disciplined by an app on their phone, and they’re fired by text message. Every motion they make is being surveilled.”
Writing in People’s World on Saturday, CJ Atkins said: “Bessemer could be the link that moves the whole chain, sparking a qualitative shift for the whole labour movement.
“We all have a stake in the struggles of these workers, and they need our solidarity. The lengths Amazon is going to in order to stop them proves it.”
At least 20,000 Amazon workers contracted Covid-19, according to the company. Its CEO Jeff Bezos added $75 billion (£55bn) to his wealth during the pandemic, making him the world’s richest man.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.