Biden meets with labor organizer at Amazon after Senate hearing

Date:

CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE GIFT CARD OFFER TODAY


WASHINGTON, May 5 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden met on Thursday with a labor leader organizing Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) workers and with other worker organizers hours after U.S. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders slammed the online retailer at a hearing on the company’s labor practices.

CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE GIFT CARD OFFER TODAY

Christian Smalls, who heads the Amazon Labor Union, said on Twitter he had met with Biden shortly after Smalls harshly criticized Amazon at the Senate hearing. A White House official confirmed the meeting to Reuters.

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in New York City recently voted to form the first union at the second-largest U.S. private employer and join the Amazon Labor Union under the leadership of Smalls, a former worker who has argued for higher pay and job security. read more

CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE GIFT CARD OFFER TODAY

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Last month, Biden drew loud applause at a labor event when he turned a spotlight on Amazon.

CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE GIFT CARD OFFER TODAY

After highlighting a government task force on worker organization he launched a year ago “to make sure the choice to join a union belongs to workers alone,” Biden called out Amazon at the April 6 event.

“And by the way, by the way, Amazon here we come. Watch. Watch,” Biden said.

Sanders said at Thursday’s hearing that “Amazon has done everything possible – legal and illegal – to defeat union organizing efforts.”

CHOOSE YOUR CHOICE GIFT CARD OFFER TODAY

But the company won bipartisan support at the hearing, including from Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, a state with a large Amazon presence.

“I don’t think Amazon is an organized criminal syndicate,” Kaine said, adding he backs efforts to make it easier for workers to unionize. “Amazon employs a million Americans – not everybody hates their jobs at Amazon.”

Sanders addressed Amazon Chairman Jeff Bezos, who had been invited to testify but did not appear.

“Given all your wealth, how much do you need? Why are you doing everything in your power, including breaking the law, to deny Amazon workers the right to join a union so that they can negotiate for better wages, better working conditions and better benefits?” Sanders asked. “How much do you need?”

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Senator Lindsey Graham, the top Republican on the panel, criticized Sanders for singling out Amazon. “This is an effort to get an outcome you want using the United States Senate as your vehicle. This is very dangerous,” he said. “You can have oversight hearings how you like but you determine Amazon is a piece of crap company. That’s your political bias.”

Sean O’Brien, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said one of the ways to hold Amazon accountable is for the government to take back contracts with companies “until they are a responsible employer.”

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a White House meeting with Smalls and labor leaders on Thursday seeking to represent workers at Amazon, Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) and other employers.

Last week, Sanders urged Biden to issue an executive order cutting off federal contracts to Amazon, saying the online retailer “has become the poster child for illegal anti-union behavior while raking in billions in federal contracts.” read more

Amazon workers voted against unionizing a second warehouse in New York City, a ballot count on Monday showed, representing a defeat for labor organizers just weeks after they celebrated their first U.S. win at the online retailer. read more

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Reporting by David Shepardson and Nandita Bose in Washington
Editing by Chris Sanders and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Subscribe

Popular

More like this
Related

Hiltzik: The technology of ebooks sows confusion and lawsuits

The internet engineer and entrepreneur Brewster Kahle took...

3 best methods to obtain Free Fire MAX diamonds for free in OB37 version

Each Free Fire MAX update brings new content...

DISA’s ‘Gray Network’ faces performance monitoring challenges

The Defense Information System Agency is exploring a...

9 online scams to watch out for this holiday season

The holiday season is upon us, and that...