In Alabama, Amazon workers want to create their first union in the United States

In Alabama, Amazon workers want to create their first union in the United States

In Alabama

The vote of the six thousand workers at the Bessemer plant in Alabama could set an epochal turning point in the industrial relations of the ecommerce giant

(Photo by Sebastian Kahnert / picture alliance via Getty Images) The first workers' union of Amazon in the United States could be born on Tuesday 30 March, following an internal vote via email, which arrived on the last day after seven weeks of taking place. It would be a historic moment in relations between the company and American employees, but it will require the majority of the votes of the 6 thousand workers at the Bessemer plant in Alabama. There, warehouse workers and drivers are campaigning against automatically established productivity metrics based on two parameters, explains The Verge: the average time taken to perform a task ("takt time") and the time spent without handling packages ("time off task "). For those unable to maintain a sustained pace, there would be warnings and layoffs, workers say.

Amazon is the second largest employer in the United States, employing 800,000 people, and according to observers, Bessemer's vote could influence the entire logistics sector of the country and beyond, similar to what happened with the unionization of the automobile industry in the 20th century. On the other hand, the company has put in place a no campaign in the plant that opened just a year ago, talking about coaching sessions, where employees report "attacks on trade unions" or reprimands.

The question has aroused national interest, not without details that have shaken public opinion, such as when Democratic Senator Mark Pocan replied on Twitter to Dave Clark, global head of Amazon Consumer: employees $ 15 per hour doesn't make you a 'progressive workplace' if you hit the unions and make workers pee in bottles. " A trip to which Amazon itself replied "You really don't believe the story of pee in bottles, do you?" , referring to the story revealed by Vice: a document inside the company highlighted the situation of drivers reduced to urinating in bottles due to unsustainable delivery shifts, which did not even allow time for a bathroom break.

Paying workers $ 15 / hr doesn't make you a "progressive workplace" when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles.

- Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) March 25, 2021

On the other hand, in 2020 Amazon registered a turnover of 386.1 billion dollars, up 38% and in the last quarter the increase was even more marked: + 44%, for over 125 billion dollars. That's why Bessemer hopes the union can help them negotiate a higher salary, while Jeff Bezos competes with Elon Musk for the scepter of richest man on the planet. Thus, if the national agitation of the entire supply chain that took place in Italy echoed up to Seattle, workers in Germany are also taking the initiative. The Verdi union called for a four-day strike starting Sunday evening in six factories (Koblenz, Leipzig, Rheinberg, Werne and two locations in Bad Hersfeld) to demand a 4.5% salary increase. "For Amazon this year it should be possible," a representative told Reuters.

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Amazon Ecommerce Europe Italy Work Strikes United States globalData.fldTopic = "Amazon , Ecommerce, Europe, Italy, Jobs, Strikes, United States "

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In Time, Alabama Basketball's Tears of Sorrow Will Evolve into Tears of Joy

INDIANAPOLIS — After a long season of blowing away expectations and far outperforming what most had predicted, Alabama basketball fell in the Sweet 16 on Sunday evening in overtime to UCLA.

Poor free-throw shooting along with hitting just seven of 28 shots from beyond the arc caught up to the Crimson Tide inside Hinkle Fieldhouse, resulting in a 88-78 overtime loss at the hands of the No. 11 seed Bruins.

On Hinkle's historic court following the disappointing loss, seniors John Petty Jr. and Herb Jones exchanged a long, tearful embrace on the court. Petty then shared the same embrace with grad-transfer Jordan Bruner. The Alabama upperclassmen played a large part in changing the culture of Alabama basketball and fulfilling second-year coach Nate Oats' vision for the program: a school with a basketball program with the potential to win championships.

Following the game, Petty remarked on the emotion that was going through he and his teammates' heads as their season came to a close.

'I feel like the most I'll remember is the bond this team created,' Petty said. 'This is probably by far one of the closest teams that I've been on. Outside of basketball we were always together, we were always bonding and we were just so close together so I feel like that translated on the court.'

Petty then went on to elaborate on what he'll remember most from his senior season with the Crimson Tide.

'I feel like what I'm going to remember most is just the bond we shared — just all the memories that we had — and just how hard we fought for each other. Throughout the season if there was one man down, the next man up and everybody had each other's back so I feel like that's what I'll remember the most.'

Regardless of how the season ended in the Sweet 16, this Alabama team will be one that will be remembered for a long time in Tuscaloosa as the team that shifted the outlook on Alabama basketball.

Picked to finished fifth in the conference in the preseason, the Crimson Tide fought and triumphed as regular-season as well as SEC tournament champions.

Oats said that he wants his guys to walk out of Hinkle Fieldhouse with their heads held high.

'As far as our guys go, I'd say it's a historic season,' Oats said. 'I don't want them to walk out of this locker room with their heads down. You can make the argument we're one of the best, if not the best, Alabama basketball teams in history. I mean, won the SEC regular season, the tournament. There's all kinds of records that were taking place.'

As time goes on, the seniors on this year's Crimson Tide basketball team will long be remembered as those that made an impact on the program when it needed it most. Jones will forever be remembered for his two one-handed free throws against LSU in the 2019-2020 season. Petty will be remembered for his dynamic performances from beyond the arc. Alex Reese will be remembered for his continual support from the bench in his final season.

Oats remarked that the three seniors stuck around when they didn't have to, but their buying into the program is what shaped it into what it is today.

'These seniors, you think about Petty, Reese, Herb Jones, what they've meant to the program,' Oats said. 'They didn't have to stick around and be coached by a guy that didn't recruit them. They didn't have to buy into everything we were trying to sell. They did.

'You know, Tyler Barnes, a walk-on, he's one of the best kids I've ever met. I love him. He's huge for the culture of this program. You add in a kid like Jordan Bruner, who turned down a lot of really good basketball programs to come try to change Alabama basketball, and he did that. He helped our culture a lot.'

While the season might have ended in tears of disappointment, if Oats and his staff continue to build upon what they've established over the last two seasons at Alabama, those tears will no doubt turn into tears of joy as time and growth continue to pass.

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