When workers have the means to use their voice, power, and agency in their employment, they help create working conditions that promote individual and collective prosperity and productivity. The means to do so is widening—through worker co-ops, tech platforms, shared equity, “experiencing the frontline” role-swapping, and other non-union partnerships—and must continue to adapt to the changing nature and future of work.
Nonetheless, embarking on a drive for union representation remains a potent and proven way for workers to raise their voices, employ their power, and exercise their agency.
Today, JFF applauds the efforts of the workers at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, on their historic attempt to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
Though the vote did not result in a partnership with RWDSU, we hope that Amazon sees this demand from its workers as an opportunity to build on its efforts to provide quality jobs, including its commitment to a $15 per hour starting wage. We also hope it provides an avenue to create broader solutions, beyond Amazon, for workers to safely voice their concerns about workplace protections, autonomy, and respect.
JFF believes a thriving workforce ecosystem requires workers have a range of ways to have a voice alongside the companies that employ them. It benefits workers, communities, and the bottom line.