East Coast elites refuse to hear workers in union election defeat
April 14, 2021
Workers spoke pretty loudly in a lopsided election last week, rejecting the drive for a worker’s union in Bessemer, Alabama’s Amazon warehouse.
Still, the East Coast liberal elites refused to heed the worker’s call.
“This particular union can’t give us anything that Amazon does not already offer,” LaVonette Stokes, an Amazon employee, told NPR about the landslide rejection of the union by workers.
Unsurprisingly, East Coast, liberal elites remain convinced that workers in the South are simply too stupid to understand the benefits that a labor union would give those same East Coast elites, even if the workers don’t want a union.
With a vote that saw 71 percent of workers opposing unionization against only 29 percent in favor, liberals and labor leaders have decided on two new strategies: First, convince everyone that the United States Postal Service (USPS) mailbox installed at the front of the warehouse facility to facilitate voting was an attempt by Amazon to intimidate workers; and second, change the rules governing union elections to make them favor unions.
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union quickly filed a protest after the election alleging Amazon illegally tried to intimidate workers with a mailbox. “[T]he RWDSU has accused Amazon of breaking the law by having a U.S. Postal Service mailbox placed on the grounds of the facility — a move organizers say made some workers wary that their mail-in ballots for the vote would be monitored by the company,” says Mike Bebernes, senior editor at Yahoo News.
The union policy disfavoring the use of USPS mailboxes stands in stark contrast to the East Coast, liberal elites policies favoring the installation of more voting drop boxes during political elections, as expressed in the Georgia election security laws.
The defeat also renewed calls for new laws that would give a sizeable advantage to unions in future elections, wiping out more than 80 years of labor laws. The proposed Protecting the Right to Organize Act would force non-union workers to pay union dues, cooperate in union work stoppages, prohibit companies from presenting their anti-union case to employees and override right-to-work laws in places they now exist.
Right-to-work laws, which exist in 27 states, in the South, Midwest and Western states – but not Eastern–prevent workers from being forced to join a union it they choose to opt-out.
The Protecting the Right to Organize Act passed the US House (225-206) this year and is now in the Senate where it’s expected to have a rougher time.
“The union push in Bessemer gathered the attention of sports stars, politicians and celebrities,” says NPR. “Actor Danny Glover, a group of House Democrats and longtime Amazon critic Sen. Bernie Sanders came to visit. Black Lives Matter organizers stood in solidarity.”
Media like Business Insider, went to great lengths to describe the union’s efforts as an “historic push”, playing up celebrity participation from actors like Glover, Late Night host Jimmy Fallon. Other media quoted Rebecca Givan, a labor studies professor at Rutgers University, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Nicholas Goldberg, of the Los Angeles Times and Labor movement researcher Erin Hatton.
Perhaps, soon, they’ll figure out that they’d be better off listening to one of the workers who opposed unionization.
“The things that Amazon already offers are things that most unions have to fight for: paid time off, vacation, medical, dental, vision,” concluded J.C. Thompson, a process assistant at the plant who voted against unionizing. “We already have basically everything, in my opinion.”
Except the one thing East Coast elites need most: A union.