Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Friday came out in support of Alabama Amazon warehouse workers who are organizing a union campaign.
About 6,000 Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer last month started to cast ballots on whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union after workers notified the National Labor Relations Board in November that a vote was set to take place.
''The days of conservatives being taken for granted by the business community are over,'' Rubio wrote in an opinion piece for USA Today. ''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.''
He added: ''Even after historic market gains, its corporate leadership fears the prospect of its workers having an increased say in working conditions, so it’s looking to crush the union vote.''
A group of congressional Democrats traveled to the warehouse last week to stand in solidarity with the workers, and, with Rubio’s support, they now have bipartisan backing.
Union President Stuart Appelbaum thanked Rubio in a statement, according to CNBC.
''Senator Rubio’s support demonstrates that the best way for working people to achieve dignity and respect in the workplace is through unionization,'' Appelbaum said. ''This should not be a partisan issue.''
Rubio wrote in his opinion piece that ''adversarial labor relations are generally harmful. When it is a good American company — for example, certain American automakers — adversarial relations risk hurting labor and management alike by causing American industry to lose ground to foreign competition. And too often, the right to form a union has been, in practice, a requirement that business owners allow left-wing social organizers to take over their workplaces.''
He added: ''That’s not what’s going on here. Amazon’s opposition to the union effort in its own backyard is also inconsistent with the progressive values it has forced on everyone else. If Amazon thinks that conservatives will automatically rally to do its bidding after proving itself to be such enthusiastic culture warriors, it is sorely mistaken.''
The push to unionize in Alabama has led to more than 1,000 Amazon workers across the country inquiring about setting up union drives where they work, according to The Washington Post.
"More than 1,000 Amazon workers from around the country have reached out to the RWDSU seeking information about unionizing their workplaces," a spokesperson for the organization told the Post.
President Joe Biden appeared to voice his support for the union effort in a video released last week saying, ''Let me be really clear: it's not up to me to decide whether anyone should decide a union. But let me be even more clear: it's not up to an employer to decide that either. The choice to join a union is up to the workers – full stop."
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