Statement in support of Amazon workers, Bessemer Alabama

Attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

On 9 April 2021, Amazon succeeded in its campaign against union recognition at its facility in Bessemer, Alabama, USA due to a mammoth anti-union campaign which interfered with workers’ rights of freedom of association.

The Australian union movement stands in solidarity with the US Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union in condemnation of Amazon’s anti-union campaign and calls on Amazon to cease its campaign of intimidation against workers.

The ACTU supports the statement issued by the Global Unions’ Committee on Workers’ Capital on 15 April 2021, which calls on Amazon to cease its anti-union campaign and seeks further investor support for Amazon to adopt a position of neutrality to union recognition at its facilities.

Amazon has publicly committed to abide by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Core Conventions of the ILO, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights but its actions interfering with workers choosing a union to represent them are contrary to those commitments.

Investors should be concerned that Amazon has not honoured its commitments to these agreements and should evaluate whether Amazon complies with investors’ own commitments to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, ILO Conventions and internal labour principles. Investors should engage with Amazon to rectify their behaviour.

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