In the latest installment of our special series “Battleground Bessemer,” TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez sits down with Joshua Brewer of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) Mid-South Council. Brewer is one of the lead organizers involved with the historic campaign to unionize 5,800 workers at the Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama. In this interview, conducted at the RWDSU Mid-South Council headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama, Alvarez and Brewer talk about Amazon workers’ arduous path to get to this point, and they discuss what a union at the Bessemer facility would mean for a workforce and for a town that is majority Black or African-American. 

To see more of our in-depth coverage of the historic Amazon union drive in Bessemer, which we’ll be bringing you throughout the month of March, subscribe to our YouTube and podcast channels, and visit our “Battleground Bessemer” series page on our website.  

Maximillian Alvarez

Editor-in-Chief

Ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a warehouse temp in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually, we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the life-saving importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars, and reminding one another that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the podcast Working People—where I interview workers about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles—to working as Associate Editor at the Chronicle Review and now as Editor-in-Chief at The Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to lifting up the voices and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.
 
Email: max@therealnews.com
 
Follow: @maximillian_alv