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At this very moment, one of the most historic union drives of our era is taking place at the Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama. Around 5,800 workers at the facility, the majority of whom are Black, are currently voting on whether or not to unionize with the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU). If they are successful, the workers in Bessemer would become the first unionized Amazon workforce in the United States, and Amazon is pulling out all the stops to keep that from happening. We got to sit down with Jennifer Bates, one of the fulfillment center workers in Bessemer, to talk about her working conditions and about why this union vote is so important.
In this new book, longtime organizers and movement educators Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes examine the political lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, including the convergence of mass protest and mass formations of mutual aid. Let This Radicalize You answers the urgent question: What fuels and sustains activism and organizing when it feels like our worlds are collapsing?
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Maximillian Alvarez is editor-in-chief at the Real News Network and host of the podcast Working People, available at InTheseTimes.com. He is also the author of The Work of Living: Working People Talk About Their Lives and the Year the World Broke.