Amazon aimed to thwart efforts to unify workers at Alasama’s Besmer warehouse, which counted 49 percent of the votes that are being closely monitored by the U.S. labor movement.
Union leaders have complained that Amazon has promised an immediate appeal of allegations that workers have been intimidated illegally, not by the money ballot itself, but by Washington regulators or officials.
But with the count closed for Thursday evening, the “no” vote was more than a couple of “yes” votes – 1,100 to 463. There were still 1,650 votes left to be counted on Friday. The union needed to reach 1,608 votes to win.
Nearly 55 percent of the 5,800 workers at Besam’s Siddhi Center cast ballots – the first official vote on organized labor at the American plant in its 26-year history.
The vote count comes after months of bitter publicity, at which point Amazon executives spread on social media with politicians and provoked ugly exchanges about the work situation on the ecommerce giant.
In March, President Joe Biden called for allowing workers to make a “free and fair choice” in terms of representation.
Following the final results, the retailers, wholesalers and department store unions plan to apply, calling Amazon’s union-busting efforts “trivial.”
“Our system is broken, Amazon has taken full advantage of it,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of RWDSU. “We urge the Labor Board to hold Amazon accountable for its illegal and serious conduct during the campaign.”
If the allegations are substantiated, the local National Labor Relations Board has the power to overturn the result by handing over the victory to the union. Labor experts said Amazon could then decide to compete on the issue in front of Washington regulators, a process that could take several months, labor experts said.
The union’s application will focus on placing a post box in the parking lot of the Amazon facility.
Emails received by the union requesting freedom of information showed that the American Postal Service was pressured by Amazon to “move quickly” before the vote. Details of the emails were first published by The Washington Post.
John Logan, a professor of labor and employment research at San Francisco State University, said, “Many unscrupulous workers would take this as a sign that the ballots were playing an official role in monitoring and counting.”
In a statement, Amazon said the post box could only be accessed by USPS and that it was “a simple, secure, and fully aligned way to make it easier for employees to vote, no less.”
During the epidemic, Amazon added more than 800,000 workers, increasing demand and revenue, bringing its total global workforce to 1.3 million. In the United States, the company is now the country’s second-largest employer behind Walmart, not including its huge network of delivery drivers hired through third-party contractors.
In Europe, the unionized Amazon workforce has staged several strikes over concerns about safety and the working situation.