Tech News: Alabama’s Amazon warehouse workers voted against unionization.
Amazon defeated the historic unionization effort at its BHM1 distribution center in Bessemer, Alabama. According to CNBC, about 1,700 of the more than 3,000 employees who participated in the election voted against the union on Friday morning, with the Associated Press subsequently confirming the result. At the start of the contest, Amazon needed 1,608 ballots, or about 50 percent of the votes, to prevent stock from organizing into a union.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Amazon warehouse workers reject the union offer in Alabama, bringing victory to the company and a severe blow to the labor movement.
– Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) April 9, 2021
But the saga is far away from over. For starters, both Amazon and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), which seeks to represent BHM1’s roughly 5,800 workers, have contested around 500 listings. According to CNBC, Amazon disputed about 300 of those cards, mostly on the basis of eligibility. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will not announce the official results of contested votes until all votes have been counted. These challenged ballots can play a crucial role in the election outcome if the votes draw closer as the NLRB continues to count.
There will likely be legal challenges as well. On Thursday, RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum called on the NLRB to investigate allegations that Amazon had lobbied the U.S. Postal Service to place a mailbox outside BHM1. “Amazon has left no stone unturned in its efforts to gass its employees. We will not let Amazon’s lies, deceptions and illegal activities go unpunished, and so we are formally filing a lawsuit against all the blatant and blatantly illegal actions that Amazon took during the union vote, “he said in a statement.
BREAK: More Perfect Union has received emails showing that Amazon has privately lobbied USPS to install an illegal voting box during the union election in Bessemer, AL.
The emails directly contradict USPS public statements about the origins of the box.
There’s more. pic.twitter.com/1inCZKibO3
– More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) April 8, 2021
Less than one percent of Amazon’s more than 950,000 employees work at BHM1, but union action has received national attention, with celebrities, politicians, and even President Joe Biden supporting the workers. At one point, even Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, got involved when it stopped airing the company’s anti-union announcements in Alabama.