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Union leader: 'Amazon left no stone unturned' in unionization fight
President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) on Thursday blamed Amazon's union-busting efforts for the apparent failed vote to unionize in Bessemer, Ala., last week.
Appearing on Hill.TV's "Rising," union president Stuart Appelbaum emphasized that although enough votes were not gathered, the results did not indicate that workers are satisfied with Amazon's working conditions.
"Instead I think that what the vote demonstrated is the powerful impact of employer intimidation and interference and how Amazon forced people to be afraid to vote for the union," Appelbaum said.
"I think that what we have seen is that Amazon left no stone unturned in trying to make people afraid to vote for the union," Appelbaum added. "They told people that if the Union came in, they might have to shut down the facility and everybody would lose their jobs. They told people that if the union came in, people might lose their benefits, which was nonsense because the union was never going to ask Amazon to take things away from people. It was only if Amazon wanted to take things away that they would lose anything."
Appelbaum bemoaned all the efforts Amazon made in its campaign against unionization, saying "it was one thing after another."
After the failed vote, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos wrote in a letter to shareholders that he took no "comfort" in the results of the election.
"I think we need to do a better job for our employees. While the voting results were lopsided and our direct relationship with employees is strong, it's clear to me that we need a better vision for how we create value for employees - a vision for their success," Bezos wrote.