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Sen. Marco Rubio in the Senate subway last March. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Escalating a push by ambitious Republicans to spotlight American workers, Sen. Marco Rubio today will side with the union in a high-stakes organizing campaign at an Amazon facility outside Birmingham, Ala.

Driving the news: "[T]he days of conservatives being taken for granted by the business community are over," Rubio writes in a USA Today op-ed posting this morning. "I stand with [workers] at Amazon’s Bessemer warehouse."

Rubio writes that one of his "earliest political memories was marching the picket line with my dad in a Culinary Workers Union strike when he worked as a hotel bartender."

  • "[T]he lesson I took from it — all workers deserve respect — has stuck with me all throughout my career," Rubio writes.
  • "Our laws should help build more productive relationships between labor and businesses, the vast majority of which treat their employees with dignity and want to work cooperatively with them."

The big picture: President Biden, though he didn't name Amazon specifically, also expressed support for the Alabama union vote in a video posted to Twitter earlier this month — a move widely celebrated by union activists.

  • Biden pledged on the campaign trail to be "the most pro-union president you've ever seen."
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Go deeper

At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, killing at least three people and wounding many others on Saturday afternoon, per a Liberty County Sheriff's Office statement to media outlets.

The big picture: Some 147 passengers and 13 crew were aboard the Empire Builder train, which runs from Seattle to Chicago, when five cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in an emailed statement. The National Transportation Safety Board said it's investigating the derailment.

New York prepares for staff shortages from health vaccine mandate

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul during a news conference Tuesday in New York City.. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced Saturday she would declare a state of emergency if there were health worker shortages due to New York's upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Why it matters: Hochul moved to reassure concerns of staffing shortages in the health care sector in a statement that also outlined plans to call in medically trained National Guard members, workers from outside New York and retirees if necessary when the mandate takes effect Monday.

California to remove word "alien" from state laws

Gov. Gavin Newsom during a September news conference in Oakland, California. Photo: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

California is removing the word "alien" from its state laws and replacing it with words such as "noncitizen" and "immigrant," Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced.

Why it matters: The word "alien" began to be used in the 1990s "as a political dog whistle to express bigotry and hatred without using traditionally racist language," per a statement from Newsom's office.