Sen. Bernie Sanders, rapper Michael “Killer Mike” Render and actor Danny Glover will be in Alabama Friday to speak with employees from Amazon’s BHM1 fulfillment center in Bessemer in support of their potential unionization.
The event will take place at the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) headquarters in Birmingham.
The push to join the RWDSU represents the strongest Amazon employee unionization attempt since the company’s founding in 1995. There is speculation that, should the vote pass, it could set off a domino effect of similar pushes amongst other Amazon employee groups.
Sanders, a Vermont Senator and former presidential candidate, has supported the unionization effort in Alabama since workers began organizing last November. He has specifically targeted Amazon founder, president, chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos in his call for a fair unionization vote.
“All workers are entitled to decent wages and working conditions, which is why I stand with the Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama exercising their constitutional right to form a union,” Sanders said in a tweet last November. “Mr. Bezos, the wealthiest person in America, must not interfere in this election.”
Sanders will be joined by actor Danny Glover and rapper Michael Render, better known as Killer Mike. Both personalities have used their fame and celebrity to work extensively as activists.
Glover visited the Bessemer facility in support of workers in February. The actor said it was his first public appearance since COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns began last year. He also recorded a video on site in support of unionization efforts.
“It’s not only for you singularly, but for the present, the past and the future.” Glover said. “That’s why we need you to vote yes.”
Killer Mike, a supporter of Sanders’ presidential run, appeared on TMZ Thursday. He discussed the benefits and necessity of unionization for the sake of workers themselves and Amazon customers in general.
“If the workers are treated like crap, your doorstep delivery as an American is going to get treated like crap,” Killer Mike said. “If we do not have proud workers, if we do not have workers that are paid well and that are treated respectfully, then what we’re going to see is trash product on the other side.
The mail-in election began in early February. Ballots were sent to approximately 5,800 employees who have until March 30 to submit them for count.