Amazon defeats union effort at Alabama warehouse
BESSEMER, Alabama - E-commerce giant, Amazon, has successfully opposed a group of activists who have been working to create the company's first unionized warehouse in the United States.
According to CNN, on Friday, April 9, warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, the location where the union would have been created, voted 1,798 to 738 against the effort.
The simple majority required for either side to prevail was 1,608.
The group behind the unionization efforts is Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, and they may contest the results.
Due to the pandemic, voting was carried out by mail over a nearly two-month period.
Amazon launched an aggressive marketing campaign in hopes of squashing the unionization efforts. The company posted signage in bathroom stalls and had workers attend special meetings before the start of the election, each attempt a thoughtfully crafted tactic designed to steer workers towards an anti-union stance.
In regards to the reason for Amazon's extensive campaign against Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union's attempts, CNN states, "For Amazon, and its workforce, the stakes of the vote were incredibly high. A successful union drive in Bessemer could have encouraged Amazon employees around the country to make similar pursuits, potentially changing how Amazon works with many of its 950,000 US-based employees."
According to Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, the NLRB received 3,215 ballots. Nearly 500 of the ballots are being challenged by either the NLRB, the union or Amazon, and it's also been pointed out that Amazon challenged ballots at a rate of nearly 4 to 1.
The public tally of the votes, taking place at the NLRB's Birmingham, Alabama office and broadcast via Zoom to certain viewers, began Thursday afternoon.
Though some Amazon workers in Europe are unionized, this was the largest effort by US-based Amazon workers to unionize thus far.
Amazon continues to navigate its way through pressure from its U.S. workers and those overseas.
In March, unionized workers in Italy complained of poor working conditions and went on strike as a result. Similarly, a German Union spoke out regarding wage issues and decided to move forward with a four-day strike.
Amazon was founded in 1995 by Jeff Bezos, its headquarters are located in Seattle, Washington.
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