- The labor observers have been alarmed by Amazon’s proposal to give a $2,000 resignation bonus if the workers quit their jobs.
- Under federal labor law, the bonuses could be considered bribes.
- Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has encouraged the workers to vote to join the union.
Amazon continues to try all possible means to stop its Alabama workers from unionizing. It is alleged that the company has violated its social distancing policy by forcing the workers to attend an anti-union meeting. Reports also indicate that the workers have received threatening text messages stating that joining the union could lead to closure of the warehouse.
Labor observers have been alarmed by Amazon’s proposal to give a $2,000 resignation bonus if the workers quit their jobs. According to the workers who received the notices, the bonus will be applicable to workers who have worked for at least two peak seasons. Those who have worked for three peak seasons will be given $3,000.
The workers are being promised that if they quit their jobs they could get them back after the union elections. It is believed that if the workers quit their jobs now they will not be eligible to vote.
The labor observers have argued that some workers who dislike their jobs at the facility may find the bonus tempting and will therefore quit their jobs for better prospects. If the plan for resignation bonuses sails through, the observers say that the company might find replacements who will vote against the union.
Under federal labor law, the bonuses could be considered bribes. Union supporters have argued that by virtue of the company offering bonuses, the company could afford to pay the workers more. The mail-in union voting began on February 8 will continue until the end of March.
Amazon has continually opposed the unionization of its workers and has allegedly launched an anti-union website that aims at dissuading the workers from joining the unions. The company argues that it already provides the workers with all that the union promises.
Amazon has, over the past months, tried to stop the currently ongoing mail-in voting, arguing that it will be unsafe with the global pandemic. However, the organizers rejected their plea. The company filed a motion asking the U.S. National Labor Relations Board to halt the union election citing bias.
Over the weekend, Alabama’s Amazon warehouse workers got a boost in their bid to unionize. Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has encouraged the workers to vote to join the union, adding that only the unions can advocate for workers to be treated with dignity.
Through a video posted on Saturday, Ms. Abrams called on the workers to form a union so that they make their jobs more secure, safer, and stronger. She advocated for democracy in the workplaces and stated that for the people of color in America, the unions have been their allies.
She argued that the unions have negotiated for safer working conditions for workers and even secured personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus pandemic. During her 2018 campaign for governor, Ms. Abrams was endorsed by the state’s major labor groups because of her support for them.