Rubio backs Amazon workers' union efforts

Rubio backs Amazon workers' union efforts
© Greg Nash

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRepublicans struggle to save funding for Trump's border wall Rubio: Dropping FARC from terrorist list threatens Colombians, US security This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead MORE (R-Fla.) on Friday threw his support behind the Amazon workers in Alabama who are fighting to unionize, because he said the company "has decided to wage culture war against working-class values"

"The Silicon Valley titan uses anticompetitive strategies to crush small businesses, bans conservative books and blocks traditional charities from participating in its AmazonSmile program. Not surprisingly, it has also bowed to China's censorship demands," he wrote in a USA Today op-ed.

He is the first prominent Republican to come out in support of the unionization efforts, though he framed his backing as a move to keep in check a company that is "headquartered in America, but it considers itself a citizen of the world."

ADVERTISEMENT

“Here’s my standard: When the conflict is between working Americans and a company whose leadership has decided to wage culture war against working-class values, the choice is easy — I support the workers. And that’s why I stand with those at Amazon’s Bessemer warehouse today,” Rubio wrote.

The senator sharply criticized the tech giant, which had a banner year in growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For decades, companies like Amazon have been allies of the left in the culture war, but when their bottom line is threatened they turn to conservatives to save them. Republicans have rightly understood the dangers posed by the unchecked influence of labor unions. Adversarial relations between labor and management are wrong. They are wrong for both workers and our nation’s economic competitiveness,” he wrote.

“But the days of conservatives being taken for granted by the business community are over,” the Florida Republican added.

"Uniquely malicious corporate behavior like Amazon’s justifies a more adversarial approach to labor relations. It is no fault of Amazon’s workers if they feel the only option available to protect themselves against bad faith is to form a union. Today it might be workplace conditions, but tomorrow it might be a requirement that the workers embrace management’s latest 'woke' human resources fad," Rubio said.

President BidenJoe BidenBiden to provide update Monday on US response to omicron variant Restless progressives eye 2024 Emhoff lights first candle in National Menorah-lighting ceremony MORE last month came out in solidarity with the Amazon workers. About 6,000 workers in the Alabama facility began voting in early February about whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

Union President Stuart Appelbaum thanked Rubio for his support, CNBC reported.

“Senator Rubio’s support demonstrates that the best way for working people to achieve dignity and respect in the workplace is through unionization,” Applebaum said. “This should not be a partisan issue.”