Jefferson County, AL – During the first two weeks of February, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) commissioned New South Research to survey 1000 Jefferson County, AL residents on a range of local economic justice and policy issues, including questions on the unionization effort at Amazon.
Both the Amazon facilities in Birmingham and Bessemer are located in Jefferson County.
Today, February 23, the Institute for Policy Studies released the results of that survey, which found that:
- 62 percent of those surveyed support a union at Amazon.
- 78 percent of African Americans surveyed support a union at Amazon.
- 49 percent of white people surveyed support a union at Amazon.
- 79 percent of African American women surveyed support a union at Amazon.
Overall, nearly two-thirds of Jefferson County residents support Amazon workers forming a union.
There is a current organizing drive at the Bessemer facility, where Amazon warehouse workers are getting a second chance to vote on unionization, after the National Labor Relations Board ruled that the company had interfered with the election process at that site last year. The voting process will continue through March 25.
“These survey results speak to the extent of local support for the Amazon unionization effort in Jefferson County,” said Marc Bayard, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and director of the Black Worker Initiative at IPS. “Nearly two-thirds of Jefferson County residents surveyed support Amazon workers forming a union. Even in the heart of the right-to-work U.S. South, there is amazing potential for an energized and revitalized labor movement to score major victories and improve the lives of Alabama workers. This survey shows that local community members stand with unionization efforts at Amazon facilities in Jefferson County, despite misinformation campaigns. Eighty-five percent of Amazon’s workforce at Bessemer are Black, with Black workers leading the union campaign. It is deeply encouraging to see so many local community members supporting one of the most momentous labor organizing campaigns in recent decades.”
“The excitement and energy this time is very different inside the facility and out. Workers are throwing down like never before and we’re seeing it in our neighborhoods too. This time we are armed with the knowledge and power not to fall for Amazon’s tricks. We know they lied last time and violated the law, and together we are standing strong. When we have good jobs, our families and our communities thrive. And it’s fantastic to know people on every corner have our backs,” said Jennifer Bates, a BAmazon Union Worker Committee Member and Amazon BHM1 Associate.
Marc Bayard is available for further comment and interviews. Contact Olivia Alperstein at email@example.com or (202) 704-9011.
About the Institute for Policy Studies
For nearly six decades, the Institute for Policy Studies has provided critical research support for major social movements and progressive leaders inside and outside government and on the ground around the United States and the world. As the United States’ oldest progressive multi-issue think tank, IPS turns bold ideas into action through public scholarship and mentorship of the next generation of progressive scholars and activists.
About the Black Worker Initiative at IPS
The Black Worker Initiative at the Institute for Policy Studies offers a platform for Black workers’ voices and perspectives and highlights the key role of Black workers in ongoing union revitalization efforts. The Initiative works to expand opportunities for black worker organizing, contributing to the revitalization of the U.S. labor movement as a whole and helping to advance both the historic and contemporary aims of the labor and civil rights movements.
The Initiative serves as a forum for important organizing conversations, allowing relationships, ideas, and projects to develop and to contribute to a vital part of the greater public discourse on race and economic and social justice.
Black Worker Initiative Director Marc Bayard was the founding Executive Director of the Worker Institute at Cornell University and is a former Africa Regional Program Director for the AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center.