Union leaders hope Amazon effort will boost support across U.S.

The huge publicity the Amazon vote is attracting is a chance to inform a younger generations that have not received a lot of education on the history of the US labor movement about the role unions have played in Alabama, said Uhatafe.

“I really wanted to show them that there’s a new generation that’s coming up that wants to bring this movement into this generation, and show people that we really do fight for their jobs and for their livelihoods,” he added. “There’s going to be a whole lot of organizing going on if this is successful – even if it isn’t, the fuse has been lit.”

Other labor leaders and workers echoed his sentiments.

“The union drive in Bessemer, Alabama, is going to have a ripple effect,” said Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of labor unions in the US. “It’s about so much more than Amazon. It’s about fundamental power and inequality. About a labor movement that’s innovating and organizing on a new frontier to take on issues like data collection, and making progress in the long march for civil rights. And Bessemer is inspiring people all over the country to take collective action with their co-workers. This isn’t the end, it’s a powerful beginning.”