“Let me be really clear: It’s not up to me to decide whether anyone should join a union,” he said. “But let me be even more clear: It’s not up to an employer to decide that either.”

It is unusual for a president to weigh in on a labor dispute, and Mr. Biden was careful to skirt an all-out endorsement of the drive in his two-minute address. But he warned Amazon and its supporters that “there should be no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda.”

Amazon, which has fought off attempts to unionize its American work force, has been working against the effort, summoning workers to mandatory meetings — and placing anti-union fliers in the stalls in the facility’s bathrooms.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Amazon’s chief spokesman, Jay Carney, was Mr. Biden’s press secretary during his early years as vice president and went on to become President Barack Obama’s press secretary.

More than 2,000 of the warehouse’s workers signed cards indicating interest in joining the union, meeting the threshold to hold a vote under National Labor Relations Board rules.


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