As an organizing drive and union vote continues at an Amazon facility in Alabama, the company is doing everything in their power to stop workers from coming together.
Lynn Rhinehart, contributing writer for The Nation and a senior fellow with the Economic Policy Institute joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the anti-union tactics of Amazon and why passing the PRO Act is important.
Amazon’s anti-union tactics
Rhinehart said the anti-union tactics being deployed by Amazon are ridiculous and need to be stopped. While Amazon is violating current labor law, there is not monetary punishment, making it worthwhile for companies to violate these laws.
For example, Amazon is continuing their internal campaign against the organizing efforts, something that is supposed to stop once voting begins. They are also holding mandatory meetings for employees where they attempt to influence workers to vote against the union.
She said Amazon has even gone as far as to get the traffic light cycle outside of the facility changed so organizers have less time to talk with workers at stop lights.
Revolutionizing labor law
Rhinehart used the issues at Amazon as the prime example for why the U.S. needs to revolutionize its labor laws through the PRO Act. With worker friendly majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as a pro-union president, the time is now.
The actions being taken by Amazon are anti-workers, but nothing is being done to stop them under current law. She said the PRO Act would give labor law some teeth and impose monetary punishments for violations.
She also said that the COVID-19 pandemic has ramped up union enthusiasm, with the majority of Americans having a favorable view of unions. She added that union employees have fared better during the pandemic and have been provided personal protective equipment and protective guidelines.