NFL Players Endorse Amazon Warehouse Workers Unionization

The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), the union that represents more than 2,000 NFL players in the United States, has endorsed a union drive at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, where workers are scheduled to begin voting in a historic union election on February 8.

On Sunday, the NFLPA released a video on Twitter, where current and former NFL players, discussed the importance of union representation in improving their own wages, benefits, and working conditions, and how a union could do the same for Amazon employees.  

“Everyone deserves to have a voice and we’re proud that you’re even considering taking the step to unionize,” JC Tretter, a center for the Cleveland Browns and president of the NFLPA, said in the video. “Remember this union stands behind you and is inspired by your actions.” 

“Our union supports ya’ll,” said Michael Thomas, a NFL safety for the Houston Texans. “I applaud ya’ll for trying to unionize and I understand how important it is to try to make a decision and it’s such during a difficult time during a pandemic, but understand we’re part of a union and our job is to protect our workers.”

The endorsement from the NFLPA, arrives two weeks before 5,800 Amazon warehouse workers at the facility in Bessemer can begin voting on what could become the first union in the technology giant’s history. This will be the first time that Amazon employees have voted in a union election since 2014 when a small group of technical workers in Delaware voted against unionizing.

Union organizers with the Retail, Warehouse, and Department Store Workers Union (RWDSU) are building the union drive around the themes of the Black Lives Matter movement, and focusing on issues of racial equality. 

As Motherboard previously reported, Amazon has launched a website full of anti-union propaganda targeting Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer in an effort to derail the union drive. Motherboard also obtained screenshots of anti-union texts and signs posted in the Bessamer warehouse. 

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