Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama appear to be overwhelmingly against forming a union, according to voter sentiment after hundreds of ballots were counted Thursday.
When vote counting was suspended on Thursday night, about 1,100 Amazon workers had voted to oppose forming a union, compared to 463 in favor.
The counting resumed Friday morning.
Union supporters at Amazon’s distribution center in Bessemer, Ala., need a simple majority to be represented by by the Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union.
Union President Stuart Appelbaum signaled Thursday afternoon that the RWDSU expects to lose the vote.
No union currently represents Amazon workers in the United States. The RWDSU has already said it will challenge the vote by filing unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that Amazon participated in anti-union activity prior to the election.
“Our system is broken, Amazon took full advantage of that,” Appelbaum said, according to AL.com. “And we will be calling on the labor board to hold Amazon accountable for its illegal and egregious behavior during the campaign.
“But make no mistake about it; this still represents an important moment for working people and their voices will be heard.”
Workers received about 5,800 ballots in early February and returned about 3,215, about 55%, to the NLRB. Workers had seven weeks to vote by mail, which ended March 29. The NLRB chose mail-in ballots based on COVID-19 levels in Bessemer in January.
Amazon and the union are allowed to watch the public portion of the vote count and contest ballots. Hundreds of ballots have been contested, mostly by Amazon, the union said.
Ballots can be contested for illegible signatures or questions about whether employees’ job titles allow them to vote. At the conclusion of voting, the contested ballots will be counted if the total number could affect the final outcome.
The Bessemer warehouse opened a year ago and is Amazon’s first distribution center in Alabama. Workers started organizing toward a union vote in August.
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