CNN: Amazon is on edge over Alabama union vote

April 4, 2021 Media

New York (CNN Business)For more than two decades, Amazon has bulldozed over bricks-and-mortar businesses, hired and churned through vast numbers of workers and even pitted cities against each other to bid for its second headquarters, all in service to its seemingly bottomless thirst for growth and satisfying customers. Its dominance was only further cemented in the last year by the pandemic, as households across the country leaned on the company for deliveries.

But if the company’s recent public statements are any indication, a small town in Alabama now has the tech giant on edge.

In the last week-and-a-half, as a milestone union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, came to a close, the company openly antagonized lawmakers and some behind the union effort.

(In a statement to CNN Business, Amazon’s Knox said: “The fact is that Amazon already offers what unions are requesting for employees: industry-leading pay, comprehensive benefits from the first day on the job, opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern work environment.”)

But it’s also easy to interpret the actions differently, especially considering how admired Amazon is as a company and how well its business is performing. As American Economic Liberties Project’s Matthew Stoller put it recently, Amazon may be acting like “public jerks on Twitter” because the company is “confident they will win the union election.”