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Thursday, January 13, 2022

Bad Birthday to Bezos: Rally at Local Whole Foods Denounces Amazon's Union Busting

Posted By on Thu, Jan 13, 2022 at 12:05 PM

click to enlarge Demonstrators rally outside the Whole Foods in University Heights, (1/12/22). - PHOTO BY SUSAN SCHNUR
  • Photo by Susan Schnur
  • Demonstrators rally outside the Whole Foods in University Heights, (1/12/22).

A small group of demonstrators rallied outside the Whole Foods in University Heights Wednesday afternoon to commemorate (sarcastically) the birthday of Amazon owner Jeff Bezos and to denounce the corporation's union-busting activities as part of a nationally coordinated week of action.

"Jeff Bezos’ birthday is not an occasion to celebrate," read the event announcement from the Support Amazon Workers network. "It’s a reason to rise up. The working conditions for Amazon workers are so terrible that the annual turnover rate is 150%. Amazon is also arguably the biggest, the most determined, the most sophisticated, and the most vicious union-busting corporation on earth."

Activists in Cleveland joined those from about a dozen other U.S. cities who are demonstrating in solidarity with workers fighting for union representation at Amazon facilities.

Workers at an Amazon plant in Bessemer, Alabama will redo a union election on Feb. 4, after the National Labor Relations Board found that Amazon illegally interfered with the first election in 2021. Amazon was also in the news last month, after six workers died at an Illinois plant because they were forced by their bosses to stay on the job during a tornado. 

In Cleveland, the demonstrators sang a modified version of Happy Birthday to Bezos: “Bad birthday to you, bad birthday to you, you’re a union buster, bad birthday to you.”

Whole Foods is a wholly owned Amazon subsidiary, which the e-commerce behemoth purchased in 2017. The demonstration at the University Heights location included representatives from Workers World Party, Labor Fightback Network and the new union organizing drive at the W. 6th Starbucks location in downtown Cleveland.

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