In making the case against a union at its warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., Amazon has touted its compensation package. The company notes that base pay at the facility, around $15.50 an hour for most rank-and-file workers, is more than twice the local minimum wage, and that it offers comprehensive health insurance and retirement benefits.
But to many of Amazon’s Bessemer employees, who are voting this month on whether to unionize, the claims to generosity can ring hollow alongside the demands of the job and local wage rates. The most recent figure for the median wage in greater Birmingham, a metropolitan area of roughly one million people that includes Bessemer, was nearly $3 above Amazon’s pay there, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Amazon Says It Pays Alabama Workers Well; Other Local Employers Pay More
Recent organizing campaigns in the South suggest the company’s wage scale may have left it vulnerable to a union.