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Woodfin clarifies support for Bessemer Amazon union after Twitter reaction

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Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said on Tuesday he supported efforts by Amazon workers at Bessemer company facilities to organize, a day after he tweeted that he represented all workers – those who wish to organize and those who do not.

Some interpreted the previous tweet as the mayor not taking a stand on whether Amazon Bessemer employees should unionize, with several Twitter users calling Woodfin a coward.

I made a statement on Twitter yesterday about representing all workers as mayor of Birmingham. After speaking with people from the labor movement today, I want to take the opportunity to clarify and share my support for RWDSU and the Amazon workers in Bessemer on their journey to organize BHM1, the mayor said in a statement. Tuesday, referring to the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union that Bessemer employees are trying to join.

Here is complete coverage of the Alabama Amazon organizing effort.

I want to state for the record that I am unequivocal for the workers, which means for the unions, added Woodfin. Without unions, we wouldn’t have the 40-hour workweek, vacation days, sick days, or benefits that millions of people depend on. Unions built this country’s middle class and played a historic role in shaping Birmingham and Jefferson County as a whole, providing opportunities for thousands of working families. Birmingham has a long history of workers of all races coming together to demand better working conditions, and the organizing effort at Bessemer is a critical chapter in the history of organized labor in this community.

The effort to join a union in Bessemer has caught the attention of the whole country and, if successful, it would mark the first time that Amazon employees have unionized.

On Monday, actor Danny Glover mobilized to support workers.

A postal vote began earlier this month among more than 5,000 center employees to see if they want to be represented by RWDSU.

The votes will be counted at the end of March. If approved, workers would be represented by RWDSU.

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