By Nandita Bose and David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A congressional delegation will visit an Amazon.com Inc facility in Alabama on Friday to show their support for workers who will vote on whether to unionize.
Amazon, America’s second-biggest private employer behind Walmart Inc, does not have any union labor in the United States, and workers at its fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama, would be the first to join if they vote in favor.
The delegation will include U.S. Representatives Andy Levin, Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, Terri Sewell and Nikema Williams among others, said a spokeswoman for the Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union, which is supporting the workers’ effort to unionize.
The last attempt by Amazon workers to unionize was in 2014.
On Sunday, President Joe Biden defended workers’ rights to form unions and warned against intimidation of employees in a video posted on Twitter.
Biden did not mention Amazon but referenced “workers in Alabama” in the video and a tweet introducing it. He said every worker should have a free and fair choice to join a union, and no employer could take that away. “It’s your right … So make your voice heard,” he said.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden believes workers should have the right to organize but that he will not comment on specific cases that are before the National Labor Relations Board.
“We don’t comment on specific cases, where it is before the NLRB or could be before the NLRB,” Psaki said, in response to a question about Biden’s support for Amazon workers.
The company did not respond to requests for comment.
(Reporting by David Shepardson and Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)