Amazon to face U.S. union challenge in 2021

Amazon is about to face a challenge from an old foe - U.S. unions.

Energized by recent protests, they’re campaigning to persuade Amazon workers to sign up.

And an early test will come at one warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama.

Workers there will vote on whether to unionize early next year.

It’s the first such poll Amazon has faced since 2014.

And a ‘yes’ vote would be the first ever at one of its U.S. facilities.

Amazon has told workers it already offers all the pay and benefits the unions promise.

It’s trained managers to spot signs of organizing activity.

The online giant’s experience in France shows what it wants to avoid.

Strong unions there drove a month-long closure of warehouses this year in protest at working conditions.

Amazon workers have also been staging walkouts at subsidiary Whole Foods.

Some allege that the company has failed to keep workers safe during this year’s health crisis.

Now a group called Whole Worker is looking to unionize staff at the grocery chain.

Unions in Seattle are also meeting Amazon tech workers.

One is helping whistleblowers fired by the company to contest their termination.

Labor organizations hope a new administration will help, not least by supporting the Protecting the Right to Organize Act.

The bill passed by the U.S. House in February would penalize firms that hinder organizing.

But it faces a battle to get through the Senate.