Amazon Workers In Alabama Get Second Chance To Vote For Union Organizing

Employees at the Inc. AMZN warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, are getting a second chance to vote on organizing a union.

What Happened: The office of the director of Region 10 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a Decision and Direction of a Second Election that grants Amazon’s Bessemer warehouse a new election. The NLRB ruling is based on objections raised by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) regarding Amazon’s conduct during the union election that was conducted earlier this year.

The warehouse employs approximately 5,800 workers. Among the warehouse’s 3,125 employees who voted on the union organizing issue during February and March, 1,798 voted against joining the RWDSU and 738 voted yes.

The vote would have required a positive vote of at least 50%, plus one employee, in order for a unionizing effort to be recognized by the NLRB. Roughly 500 of the total ballots were contested, mostly with Amazon raising objections. At the time, the RWDSU accused Amazon of interfering with the efforts to organize a union.

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What Happens Next: RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum welcomed the NLRB’s ruling.

“Today’s decision confirms what we were saying all along – that Amazon’s intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union in their workplace,” he said. “And as the Regional Director has indicated, that is both unacceptable and illegal. Amazon workers deserve to have a voice at work, which can only come from a union.”

Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel expressed disappointment with the decision.

“Our employees have always had the choice of whether or not to join a union, and they overwhelmingly chose not to join the RWDSU earlier this year,” Nantel said. “It’s disappointing that the NLRB has now decided that those votes shouldn’t count."

“As a company, we don’t think unions are the best answer for our employees,” Nantel added. “Every day we empower people to find ways to improve their jobs, and when they do that we want to make those changes quickly. That type of continuous improvement is harder to do quickly and nimbly with unions in the middle.”

No date has been set for the second vote.

Photo: Mohamed Hassan / Pixabay

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Posted In: GovernmentM&ANewsRegulationsAlabamaNational Labor Relations BoardRWDSUUnion
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