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Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Jefferson County supports union efforts at Bessemer Amazon

A survey of Jefferson County residents shows nearly two-thirds of respondents support the unionization efforts at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Bessemer.


A survey of Jefferson County residents shows nearly two-thirds of respondents support the unionization efforts at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Bessemer.

The survey, commissioned by the Institute for Policy Studies and conducted by New South Research, polled 1,000 Jefferson County residents and revealed 62 percent of them support a union at Amazon.

Also, according to the survey, 78 percent of African Americans surveyed, along with 79 percent of African American women surveyed, support a union at Amazon. Forty-nine percent of white respondents support forming a union at Amazon, the survey also shows.

“These survey results speak to the extent of local support for the Amazon unionization effort in Jefferson County,” said Marc Bayard, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and director of the Black Worker Initiative at IPS. “Nearly two-thirds of Jefferson County residents surveyed support Amazon workers forming a union. Even in the heart of the right-to-work U.S. South, there is amazing potential for an energized and revitalized labor movement to score major victories and improve the lives of Alabama workers. This survey shows that local community members stand with unionization efforts at Amazon facilities in Jefferson County, despite misinformation campaigns.”

Eighty-five percent of Amazon’s workforce at the Bessemer fulfillment center are African-American, according to Bayard, with the organizing committee overwhelmingly made of African-American employees.

“It is deeply encouraging to see so many local community members supporting one of the most momentous labor organizing campaigns in recent decades,” Bayard said.

Recently, the RWDSU filed new unfair labor practice charges against Amazon, claiming the company removed pro-union literature and flyers from non-work areas and implemented new policies that limit employee access to facilitates 30-minutes prior to and after their shift.

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These charges come nearly a month after the first set of ULP charges alleging Amazon created an “impression of surveillance” surrounding one member of the union organizing committee.

The second union election for the Amazon employees is underway at the Bessemer fulfillment center, with the ballot counting to begin March 28.

John is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can contact him at [email protected] or via Twitter.

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