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Inland Groups Stand in Support of Unionization Efforts at Alabama Amazon Warehouse

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Inland Empire groups joined in a downtown Los Angeles rally Monday in support of the Amazon worker unionization effort in Bessemer, Alabama. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson reports, since Amazon is the Inland region’s biggest employer, a successful union vote in the south could usher in changes in Riverside and San Bernardino County.

Standing in a crowd of over 200 people, Martha Romero, a community organizer with the San Bernardino based Teamsters Local 1932 says she feels good about the turnout.  Not only does it show strong SoCal support for the Alabama workers it’s also a signal for those fighting for better labor conditions in Riverside and San Bernardino County.

“For the Inland Empire it shows that we will not be alone in the fight as well," said Romero. "We’re coming from the IE to support LA and vice versa. LA will come to support them as well.”

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Also, in the crowd of community groups, workers, clergy and LA elected officials was the Rialto based Teamsters Local 63 and the Ontario based non-profit the Warehouse Workers Resources Center.

Adam Diaz, the center’s organizing director says he expects the outcome of the vote and whether or not Amazon retaliates against the Alabama workers to sway local workers. They may ask themselves questions like, “Was it [a] futile effort? Is it not worth it? Was it a slamming success? Should we do it next?" says Diaz.

Workers in Alabama have alleged Amazon has been using union busting tactics. Which is why the LA rally ended with a protest in front of the headquarters of the law firm Morgan Lewis. It has a history of taking on anti-union clients and is currently retained by Amazon.

For now, all eyes are on Alabama workers as they make their final push for unionization this week before a March 29 deadline to collect votes.