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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 April 2021

Amazon - union vote lost

Amazon, photo Scott Lewis./CC

Amazon, photo Scott Lewis./CC   (Click to enlarge)

Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama, lost an attempt to unionise their workplace. This disappointing ballot result is understandable given the vicious anti-union campaign waged by Amazon chiefs, and the political-legal climate in the US which militates against trade unions.

In the ballot, of the more than 3,000 total votes cast, 1,798 voted against, while 738 voted for the union. However, the Retail Warehouse and Department Store Union, challenged 505 votes. The union, moreover, claims that Amazon used tactics that were illegal, to mislead and intimidate workers and is contesting the result.

Amazon, the second largest private employer in the USA, bombarded the workforce with anti-union propaganda, including text messages and leaflets posted on doors inside toilet cubicles! Amazon also held mandatory meetings for workers on company time - "captive-audience sessions" - with videos and anti-union power-point presentations.

However, conditions determine consciousness, and bad working conditions and terms of employment will push workers at some stage, both in Amazon and at other workplaces, to collectively organise.

In recent years there have been successful unionisation drives and strikes, indicating that workers are beginning to fight back against the super-rich corporate bosses. This includes 800 nurses at St Vincent Hospital, Worcester, Massachusetts who are starting their sixth week of strike action against unsafe staffing levels that risk patients' care and staff health.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 14 April 2021:


Covid-19

'Covid passports' discriminatory and questionable - fight for workplace safety

Covid inquiry? Workers must decide


News

Tensions escalate in Northern Ireland

How to deal with the tax-dodging mega-rich? Nationalise!

NHS pay: reject Tories' miserly 1% 'offer' - Fight for full 15% rise

Amazon - union vote lost

Tory hypocrisy over housing benefit cut

US cops shoot dead another black man


Elections

Every voter in Wales has the opportunity to vote for TUSC

TUSC: Launching a working-class electoral alternative in London

London housing crisis: vote TUSC to fight back


Workplace news

PCS elections: Support the Broad Left Network for a democratic, fighting union leadership

St Mungo's maintenance workers on indefinite strike

Thousands of London bus workers strike across multiple companies

Rally for sacked RMT rep Declan

East London cleaners fight outsourcing and redundancies

Bristol Water workers walk out

SPS Technologies workers end strike after management backs down

Thurrock Council workers strike against pay cuts

Deliveroo workers strike and protest


Lessons from history

1920s-30s Britain: A working-class movement fighting unemployment and capitalism


Campaigns news

Youth under attack

Students in action: Protest on 21 April

Why you should join the Socialist Party

Cardiff: Hundreds protest to free Siyanda

Worcester: Kill the Bill

Fighting fund target smashed. Can we do it again?


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Amazon:

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Consciousness:

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