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Amazon Union Is a Tough Sell Where $15 an Hour Goes a Long Way

March 1, 2021, 10:00 AM

On a rainy Saturday afternoon in early February, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union held a rally in a grassy lot a five-minute drive from Amazon.com
Inc.’s fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama. Organizers handed out pizzas supplied by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, a long-time Amazon critic. Members of the Teamsters had traveled to Bessemer to lend their support, some from as far away as Boston. Workers and activists brandished signs with such slogans as “Don’t Back Down” and “Our Community Supports Amazon Workers.”

Inclement weather aside, the event seemed to have the ingredients to attract workers keen to take on Amazon. Yet the crowd ...

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